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Amended lawsuit alleges Astorino election fraud

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Westchester County's Independence Party has revised its federal lawsuit alleging racketeering by County Executive Rob Astorino after a state judge removed 3,700 of the Republican candidate for governor's staff, family and associates from the party's enrollment.

The suit filed last year claims Astorino allies switched from Republican to Independence voter registrations in a bid to ensure his re-election by giving him the minor party ballot line.

The amended federal complaint follows state Supreme Court Justice Robert DiBella's order Monday to cancel the Independence Party enrollment of many who switched.

The party's lawyer has asked Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to investigate.

An Astorino spokeswoman says Tuesday that he "refused to play ball" with the Independence Party, calling it "nothing more than a pay-to-play operation that shakes down elected officials for patronage jobs."

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