In the wake of an Illinois alderman’s confession last month that he used false documents to get Purple Heart license plates, Secretary of State Jesse White wants to make it a crime if someone lies to get military plates. White will ask state lawmakers for legislation that makes it a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine to lie about being a veteran to get military license plates, reports the Chicago Tribune.
White, an Army veteran, asked state lawyers to look into penalties after hearing about Werner “Jack” Genot of Marengo. The alderman admitted last month that for years he had spun elaborate lies about his military record, such as being in a bloody Korean War battle and being a prisoner of war for more than 10 months. Genot, who said he is 71, said the lies began as barroom bravado two decades ago and grew over the years. More than 54,000 military license plates have been issued in Illinois.