March 5, 2020 News

A Guilty Plea And More Indictments To Come: Scott Taylor’s Election Fraud Fiasco Just Keeps Getting Worse


by Democratic Party of Virginia

KEY POINTS:

A former campaign staffer for ex-Congressman Scott Taylor pleaded guilty this morning to a misdemeanor election crime and was fined $1,000 for her part in a 2018 scandal

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“The investigation is still ongoing,” Prosecutor John Beamer said afterward. “You’re likely to see more” indictments in the case. [Remember: Taylor convened staff during the summer of 2018 in his Congressional office to launch the petition scheme] 

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Separate investigations by The Virginian-Pilot, WHRO Public Media and state Democrats showed that dozens of the signatures listed on the pages turned in by Taylor’s staff had been forged. At least four of the people named were dead.

See below from The Virginian-Pilot: ---

The Virginian-Pilot: Campaign staffer for former Rep. Scott Taylor pleads guilty in petition scandal

By Jane Harper 

March 3, 2020 

A former campaign staffer for ex-Congressman Scott Taylor pleaded guilty this morning to a misdemeanor election crime and was fined $1,000 for her part in a 2018 scandal that likely contributed to the congressman losing re-election that year.

Lauren Creekmore Peabody pleaded guilty to willful neglect of an election duty, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. In addition to the fine, she also received a one-year suspended jail sentence and was ordered to remain on good behavior for a year.

The 26-year-old is the only person who’s been charged in the 2018 election scandal, to date. She initially was indicted on two felony counts of election fraud, but prosecutors agreed to drop one count and reduce the other in exchange for her plea.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” Special Prosecutor John Beamer said afterward. “You’re likely to see more” indictments in the case.

Peabody was one of about seven members of Taylor’s staff who collected and submitted petition signatures in an effort to get a spoiler candidate added to the 2nd Congressional District ballot in 2018.

At the time, Taylor, a Republican first elected to the seat in 2016, was running for re-election against Elaine Luria, a political newcomer and a Democrat.

Shaun Brown, a Hampton businesswoman who had run against Taylor as a Democrat in 2016, was trying to get on the 2018 ballot as an Independent after she failed to win the Democratic nomination. She needed 1,000 valid signatures from voters in order to be included.

State Democrats believe that Taylor’s staff decided to help Brown because they thought having her in the highly competitive race would siphon votes from Luria. They turned in 56 pages of signatures to election officials.

But separate investigations by The Virginian-Pilot, WHRO Public Media and state Democrats showed that dozens of the signatures listed on those pages had been forged. At least four of the people named were dead.Read the full article here

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