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Election Fraud in Dodge Co
Thursday, 17 September 2009

September 17--  Joseph D. Newman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced today the unsealing of a six-count criminal indictment against MICHAEL LAWTON DOUGLAS, JR., age 37, of Eastman, Georgia, OLIN NORMAN GIBSON a/k/a “Bobo,” age 43, of Helena, Georgia, and THEDY DENEEN McLEOD a/k/a “Deneen Gordon,” age 43, of Eastman, Georgia.  The indictment charges that these individuals, along with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, conspired to pay voters and did pay voters for their votes in the July 20, 2004 primary election and August 10, 2004 primary runoff election for Sheriff of Dodge County, Georgia.  As a result of those elections, Douglas was elected and served as Sheriff of Dodge County until December 2008.

            The investigation involved the cooperative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  The prosecutor on the case is Assistant United States Attorney R. Brian Tanner, working out of the Savannah U.S. Attorney’s Office.

            According to the indictment, Douglas provided money to Gibson, Gordon, and others to be used to pay and offer to pay voters to vote for him in the elections.  To ensure that the paid voters actually voted for Douglas, his supporters transported voters to the polls and accompanied them into the voting booth.  Douglas and Gibson are specifically charged with buying the votes


of two individuals, identified by the initials C.C. and E.C., in both elections.  The indictment also alleges that Douglas and Gordon purchased and obtained absentee ballots from voters, which they then would vote for Douglas and submit to be counted in the elections.           

            Each defendant is scheduled to appear for arraignment on October 1, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. at the federal courthouse in Dublin, Georgia. 

            Newman stressed that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

            If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five (5) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a period of supervised release of three (3) years on each count of the indictment.

            Anyone with information regarding these allegations, including voters whose vote or ballot was purchased in 2004, should contact Special Agent Eve Rodgers of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 912-374-6988 or Special Agent Ed Sutcliffe of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 912-764-6311.
 
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