Court Coverage

Mar 9, 2011 11:57 AM

Third Former Clay County Official Sentenced In Conspiracy Case

A third former Clay County official was sentenced Wednesday to 12 1/2 years in prison in a conspiracy that allowed him and other officials to gain power and control politics in the county.

Freddy Thompson, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Danny C. Reeves for conspiring with a former circuit court judge, a school superintendent and other county officials in schemes that involved racketeering, money laundering and voter fraud. He was also sentenced for obstruction of justice.

Last March, a jury convicted Thompson and seven others for their participation in the above mentioned schemes. The jury also found that the eight men were jointly liable for $3.4 million that represented the salaries and contracts they were able to get as a result of the conspiracies.

As chairman of the board of elections, Thompson helped the Clay County elections board control the outcomes of the primary and general elections for the years 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Evidence at the trial proved that during elections, Thompson provided large sums of money that was used so they could buy votes from residents in the county. He also instructed the officers how they could use the voting machines to steal votes.

As part of the scheme, Thompson and others switched the votes of county residents. Thompson also used others at his office to compile a list of vote sellers in the county.

On more than one occasion, after the elections had ended Thompson helped prepare false election reports to be sent to Frankfort that intentionally contained inaccurate voting totals. According to court records, Thompson instructed election officers to destroy voter assistance forms to avoid reporting the total number of people assisted during the election.

Trial testimony also revealed that Thompson provided a false testimony before the grand jury in 2009.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the IRS. The U.S. Attorney's Office was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Smith and Jason Parman.

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