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Man pleads guilty in voting scam



Published: Sat, February 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) -- A man pleaded guilty to 10 counts of false registration in a scam in which he submitted phony voter registration cards in the names of Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and star athletes.

Chad Staton, 22, faces up to a year in prison and $2,500 fine on each count at his sentencing April 13 in Defiance County Common Pleas Court. He pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Staton was arrested in December after being indicted by a grand jury investigating allegations that a woman paid him cocaine in exchange for registration efforts.

Authorities said Staton filled out phony voter forms himself rather than getting citizens to complete legitimate registrations for the November election.

Officers had said that they interviewed a woman who claimed that she had paid Staton with cocaine for the registrations.

That woman, Georgianne Pitts, 41, of Toledo, about 50 miles east of Defiance, was found dead in her home in early December. She accidentally overdosed on prescription medication, the Lucas County coroner's office ruled.




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