Local News

Sheriff Asked to Probe Election Fraud Claims

(La Porte County, IN) - Law enforcement is being asked to investigate possible election fraud in La Porte County.


La Porte County Election Board member Nelson Pichardo made a written request to Sheriff John Boyd on Friday in response to evidence presented by resident Rick Kentaft.


The evidence alleges local businessman Jody Slabaugh is registered to vote at the address of his repair shop, Discount Computer Warehouse, but doesn’t live there. It asserts that Slabaugh has voted in numerous elections while living at another address.


Pichardo said the evidence appears credible and supported the two other election board members, Heather Stevens and Charles Watterson, requesting the sheriff’s office investigate the claims.


The sheriff is asked to determine Slabaugh’s legal residency and if any criminal violations were committed.


In Indiana, voter fraud is a Level 6 felony punishable by an up to two and a half year sentence.


Slabaugh is one of the more outspoken Republicans in the ongoing nasty political dispute that stems from hiring Shaw Friedman as the attorney for the La Porte County government by the La Porte County Commissioners nearly two years ago. Friedman is a member of the Democratic Party. 


La Porte County Republican Party Chairman Allen Stevens said the election board has not met to hear the matter.


“State code is very clear that this has to go before the election board to decide if there’s enough merit for it to be referred to the sheriff’s department for prosecution. This has not happened. Any assumption by Mr. Pichardo that it has happened is a complete total fabrication,” Stevens said.

Pichardo said he shared the complaint from Kentaft with the election board members.


“We decided to forward it to the sheriff’s office,” Pichardo said.

So far, attempts to reach Slabaugh for a response to the claims have been unsuccessful.

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