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Former Salem Mayor Pleads Guilty

Last updated on Friday, February 15, 2013

(UNDATED) - Former Salem Mayor Douglas Campbell pleaded guilty to electioneering, a misdemeanor, in Scott Superior Court this week.

Campbell, now the mayor of Austin, had originally been charged with three felonies following an investigation by Indiana State Police.

Since electioneering is a misdemeanor, Campbell avoids jail and can remain in office.

State police began investigating after four voters said Campbell and Terry Danner, a town employee, had visited homes to pick up absentee ballots for the May 2011 primary.

Only election officials or the person voting may handle a ballot.

Brandon White, who ran against Campbell in 2011, filed a formal complaint with the Scott County Election Board, which prompted the investigation

Campbell, a Democrat, served as mayor of Salem from Jan. 1, 1996 to April 2002, when he resigned.

Danner received pre-trial diversion Tuesday, allowing his prosecution on three felony voter fraud charges to be withheld if he completes 100 hours of community service in six months.

In a written statement released through his attorney, Kathleen Sweeney of Indianapolis, Campbell said he was "made aware that my campaign had inadvertently violated an obscure Indiana statute" prohibiting candidates from actively campaigning to voters with absentee ballots."

Campbell said he accepted responsibility for the "oversight" and said he had done nothing fraudulent or unethical. The incident did not affect the outcome of the election.

Douglas Campbell.jpg

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