WASHINGTON (KLFY) – A former Louisiana police chief, a city council member, and a co-conspirator have all been sentenced for their involvement in a vote buying scheme.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana, a former police chief in Amite City, a former Amite City council member, and an additional co-conspirator have all been sentenced.
Former police chief Jerry Trabona, 73, and former council member Kristian “Kris” Hart, 50, were both sentenced to one year in prison for violating federal election laws in a conspiracy to pay or offer to pay voters in a federal election.
The press release also said that Trabona was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
The co-conspirator, Sidney Smith, 69, was sentenced to four months in prison, the press release said.
Court documents revealed that Trabona and Hart agreed to pay or offer to pay voters residing in Tangipahoa Parish for voting during the 2016 open primary election and the 2016 open general election, contests in which Trabona and Hart were both candidates.
The press release said that the vote buying scheme included the solicitation and hiring of people responsible for identifying potential voters, the transportation of those voters to the polls and payment or offer of payment to the voters for voting.
In the 2016 election, Smith paid voters with money provided by Trabona and Hart, the press release said.
The press release also said that two other Louisiana men, Calvin Batiste and Louis Ruffino, previously pleaded guilty to their involvement and will be sentenced at a later date.
The FBI New Orleans Field Office investigated the case.
Rosaleen T. O’Gara and Michael N. Lang of the Criminal Divisions Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Irene González are prosecuting the case.