Two Warren residents face criminal charges for allegedly submitting petitions with phony signatures hoping to stop the city from opening an impound lot for towed and seized vehicles.

The Trumbull County Grand Jury on Wednesday handed up felony indictments against 36-year-old Kayla Charlene Mergl-Farmer, and 42-year-old Joseph Pizzulo.

Mergl-Farmer faces eight felony counts of election falsification and one count of complicity to commit election falsification. Pizzulo is charged with one count of election falsification.

According to the Trumbull County Prosecutors Office, the two submitted petitions as part of the referendum effort in 2020 to place an issue on the ballot that would reverse Warren City Council’s ordinance allowing construction of an impound lot.

The ordinance was enacted due to an increasing number of towed vehicles and fewer places to store those vehicles.

Investigators say some of the petitions had more invalid than valid signatures and some pages had no valid signatures.

The petition drive failed to obtain enough signatures to get the referendum on the ballot.

The court has issued a summons for each suspect to appear before a judge.