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Man charged in RF recall disturbance

A suspect who allegedly used a pen to jab at -- rather than sign -- Gov. Scott Walker recall petitions last month in River Falls before walking away and calling himself "George Washington," has been charged for this incident by Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle.

In the Dec. 21 criminal complaint, Dennis L. Torkelson, 53, N8439 650th St., River Falls, was charged with attempt to falsify information and criminal damage to property.

Both are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail.

Torkelson is scheduled to answer for these charges at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23, in Pierce County Circuit Court in Ellsworth.

O'Boyle said that Torkelson's actions didn't rise to the level of a felony since the damaged petitions were later taped up and apparently still usable.

He said if the petitions with signatures had been destroyed or if Torkelson had attacked a recall volunteer, it could have resulted in felony charges.