Politics » Politics Feature

Six Indictments in District 29 Case

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Some nine months after the narrow special-election victory that gave Democrat Ophelia Ford a short-lived status as state Senator from District 29, indictments charging three poll workers with felonious actions to aid her cause were returned Monday by the Shelby County Grand Jury; the three indictments — along with those of three other individuals for casting illegal votes as former felons — were announced at a press conference Tuesday by District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, who stressed that he had no evidence linking Ford’s or “any other campaign” to the illegal acts, which included forging the names of deceased.

Also attending the conference as participants were Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Linda Kirklen of the D.A.’s office, lead prosecutor on the case.

Five of the six indicted persons are in custody. A sixth, identified as one of the three poll workers charged with illegal election-day acts, is not in custody and was not identified. The two named poll workers are Mary L. McClatcher and Geretrude Otteridge. Indicted for illegal voting as a convicted felon were Maurice Howard, Michael Dominic Colucci, and Michael Cortez Davis (each of whom had several aliases).

Ford, whose election was finally disallowed by the state Senate, is a candidate for the position again this year.

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