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Mayor allegedly committed several felonies during election

The mayor of a Florida town has been indicted by a grand jury, along with two other people, on 25 charges involving allegations of white collar crimes. Specifically, the mayor is accused of engaging in voter ballot fraud during his town's election in 2015. It's a felony offense. When people are accused of felonies, just as with any other criminal charge, they are presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty in court.  

The mayor and the two other man have been charged with illegally designating or marking a ballot option (six counts), violating the state's voter protection act (six counts), and influencing voting corruptly via intimidation (six counts). They also face charges of violating absentee ballot voting laws (two counts) and conspiring to commit a violation of the election code (one count). They are further charged with soliciting/attempting to vote a fraudulent ballot (one count) as well as voting fraud (one count) and interfering with voter registration (one count).

The list of charges includes a total of two misdemeanors and 22 felonies. The two men working with the mayor were additionally charged with an additional misdemeanor. The police investigation into the men's activity was sparked by a lawsuit filed by the former mayor of the town, who sued the current mayor following the town's election in 2015. In the suit, the plaintiff, who was unseated by the current mayor, challenged the election's validity, claiming that the current major offered bribes to residents and decreased rents for those who voted for him. The lawsuit was later dismissed due to improper filing.

When people in Florida are accused of felonies, they cannot be convicted unless prosecutors are able to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence that prosecutors plan to provide in court may very well be a chief area of focus for the criminal defense. Defense counsel will fight for the most personally favorable outcome for the client in light of the circumstances surrounding the case.

Source: orlandoweekly.com, "Eatonville mayor indicted on felony charges in election fraud case", Monivette Cordeiro, March 28, 2016

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