Sunday, December 03, 2006

Vote Scandal Ends With Guilty Pleas

The former mayor pled guilty to 233 counts on charges related to the voting fraud fiasco in 2004 in the town of Appalachia. I first mentioned the case earlier this year. A host of charges emerged during the presentation of the case, including tampering with absentee ballots and trading bags of pork rinds for votes.

The Kingsport-Times News has a wrap-up of the case here. Look like just about all those involved in an attempted grab for power in the town of Appalachia have all confessed to their crimes.

Former mayor Ben Cooper's attorney, Patty Church, told the press her client was no political kingpin, however.

Cooper was "not really a Boss Hogg, and his '‘kingdom' was more like Larry, Curly and Moe," she said of a conspiracy that unraveled after a voter complained that she was not allowed to vote at the polls, having been informed she had already voted by absentee ballot. The voter knew otherwise."

Cooper faces a possible 21 months in jail and over $80,000 in court costs.

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