The state Attorney General's office arrested an Upper Darby man today on charges he forged signatures on election papers for U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) last year.

Paul V. Summers, 59, of the 500 block of Eaton Road, was charged with seven counts of forgery and seven counts of making false signatures and statements. Each forgery count carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The other charges are punishable by up to a year in prison and a $500 fine.

Summers, a well-known Delaware County Republican operative, circulated petitions for Meehan, who beat Democrat Bryan Lentz in a bitter contest for the Seventh Congressional District seat. The signatures put Meehan's name on the ballot in the primary, a race in which he ran unopposed.

Meehan referred the petitions to authorities in early March after a neighbor informed him that his name had been forged.

Democrats had begun canvassing Upper Darby to ask whether residents had signed the papers after they found Terry Bradley's name forged on Meehan's petitions. Terry Bradley is the wife of Ed Bradley, chairman of the Upper Darby Democrats.

Investigators interviewed 39 people who said they did not sign petitions circulated by Summers. He signed names for people who were incapacitated or otherwise could not have signed the papers, and signed names for people who did not live at the addresses he listed, according to a criminal complaint. Summers also knew that other volunteers falsified information on petitions he submitted.

Summers was released on $10,000 bail. A formal arraignment is scheduled for March 3 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

Contact staff writer Joelle Farrell at 610-627-0352 or at jfarrell@phillynews.com.