5 from Clay County Plead Guilty in Vote Fraud Case

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Five former officials in Clay County have pleaded guilty to charges that alleged widespread vote fraud, bringing the case to a close.

Media reported that former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle; former county Clerk Freddy W. Thompson; former school superintendent Douglas C. Adams, former election commissioner Charles Wayne Jones and former precinct worker William E. Stivers entered pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Lexington.

Three others charged in the case previously pleaded guilty.

All eight were charged with being part of a racketeering conspiracy that used the county Board of Elections as a tool to buy or steal votes in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

The plea deals call for lesser sentences than if the men went to trial.

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