Frank Heath


HERTFORD — The discovery of 30 forged signatures has prompted withdrawal of a petition containing the signatures of more than 1,200 people opposed to moving the Confederate monument in Perquimans County.

County Manager Frank Heath reported the alleged forgery to the Perquimans County Board of Commissioners at the board’s meeting Tuesday night.

Heath said officials discovered that 30 signatures on the petition submitted to commissioners in early August were forged.

Heath did not say who had forged the signatures, but he did say they have been identified and could face legal action. He said all 30 forged signatures had been tied to a single individual.

In light of the forgery allegations, organizers of the petition drive have withdrawn the document, Heath said.

The petition to keep the monument on the courthouse green reads: “The Monument commemorates those who died in the War Between the States, 1861-1865. Those brothers, sons, fathers, grandfathers, husbands and loved ones who never came back, who were buried in mass graves. (The monument) has honored the dead for well over 100 years without objection from over 150 previous county commissioners. This monument serves as a grave marker also symbolizing the war is over.”

A number of different people worked together to collect signatures for the petition. One man told commissioners at their August meeting that each of the signatures was collected in person.

Another man said he was able to gather signatures from people of all races in all neighborhoods.

Heath said Wednesday that it will be up to the individuals affected to take additional legal steps if they so wish.

“I am still in the process of meeting with my attorney to discuss the matter further, so I’m not able to comment on the identity of the person yet,” Heath said. “That’ll come at some point in the future.”