Mayor pleads guilty to electioneering in voter fraud case
AUSTIN, IN (WAVE) - A southern Indiana mayor pleaded guilty in a voter fraud case.
Douglas Campbell, the mayor of Austin, was arrested on May 1, 2012.
Campbell and Austin resident Terry Danner, 58, were accused of going to at least four homes in 2011 to collect absentee voter ballots.
Tuesday, Campbell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor electioneering. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the felony voter fraud and conspiracy charges.
The misdemeanor plea means Campbell can keep his job as mayor of Austin, according to the Indiana Secretary of State's office.
Campbell will not serve any jail time. He was sentenced to one year which was suspended except for one day which he was given credit for.
Danner was given a pre-trial diversion, meaning if he pays $270 and does 100 hours of community service by next February he will avoid a trial.
Campbell released the following statement:
"During the course of these legal proceedings, I was made aware that my campaign had inadvertently violated an obscure Indiana Statute that prohibits candidates from actively campaigning to individuals that possess absentee ballots. After speaking with my wife, we decided it was in the best interest of the citizens of Austin for me to accept responsibility for this oversight.
I want to make it clear that I have not engaged in any type of fraudulent or unethical behavior. The people of Austin spoke loud and clear when they re-elected me by large margins in both the primary and general elections. It is important that I emphasize that the law I violated had no impact on the integrity of outcome of those elections.
This has been a long and difficult process for me and I look forward to putting the matter behind me. Being the Mayor of Austin is an honor and a privilege and I am excited to continue to be Mayor of this great city."
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