Woman Pleads Not Guilty In Post Office Petition Case

A 68-year-old Black Hawk woman arrested after attempting to collect petition signatures at a Rapid City post office has pleaded not guilty.

Sixty-eight-year-old Roberta Helmerick is charged in federal court with soliciting signatures on postal property and disorderly conduct. Her trial is July 23 before U.S. Magistrate Daneta Wollman.

Helmerick faces up to a year in jail and $10,000 in fines if convicted.

Helmerick was arrested April 15. She was part of a group of petitioners attempting to gather signatures to force a public vote on a proposed plan to raise property taxes to help schools. Post office officials called police after repeatedly asking petitioners to move away from the building’s entrance.

The petition drive succeeded. Voters soundly defeated the proposal on June 2.