BISMARCK, N.D. - Nine North Dakota State University football players are among 15 people who have been formally charged with faking petition signatures in a scandal that stopped two citizen initiatives from making the November ballot.
Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick says the 15 are scheduled for their first court appearance Oct. 2. They were charged Friday with a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Allegations of faked signatures forced North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger to disqualify the initiatives.
The measures were aimed at setting up a conservation fund financed by oil taxes and legalizing marijuana use for pain relief.
The list of defendants has nine members of NDSU's football team. The Bison are the defending NCAA Football Championship Subdivision champion.
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