4 Monroe Countians Sentenced in Vote-Buying Scheme

By: U.S. Attorney's Office/Western District Kentucky
By: U.S. Attorney's Office/Western District Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, KY – Four Tompkinsville residents were sentenced in U.S. District Court by Chief United States District Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on Friday, March 1, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to buy votes in the 2006 General Election in Monroe County.

Martha J. Hughes, age 49, Corey Page, age 31, and Michael Page, age 52, were each sentenced to two years probation and six months home detention. In addition, Corey Page and Michael Page were each ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. Todd Newport, age 29, was sentenced to two years probation, two months home incarceration, and ordered to pay a $500 fine.

“Vote buying is a serious crime. It undermines our democratic process and weakens public confidence in the election system. Those who would attempt to subvert free and fair elections will be pursued by my office in partnership with the FBI,” stated U.S. Attorney David J. Hale.

According to the federal grand jury indictment, beginning in October, 2006, and continuing to the date of the general election on November 7, 2006, Tony Gumm, Martha J. Hughes, Jeffrey Todd Newport, William H. Proffitt, Corey Page, and Michael Page, conspired to pay voters to cast walk-in absentee ballots. The object of the conspiracy was to secure the election for Gumm and other candidates. At the time, Gumm was a write-in candidate for Monroe County Magistrate.

All six defendants have admitted to participating in this scheme in which voters were instructed to lie about their intended whereabouts on election day, and to falsely state they were blind, disabled or unable to read English and thus in need of assistance to vote. Members of the conspiracy would then accompany the voters into the booth to cast the voters’ ballot. The indictment specifies 17 voters who were paid $25 to $80 dollars for voting in the election.

Tony A. Gumm pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve three years probation, with eight months home detention, and pay a $4,000 fine on July 21, in U.S. District Court, Bowling Green.

In a separate federal indictment, Wilbur Graves, the former Monroe County Judge-Executive, and three Tompkinsville residents were charged with conspiracy to buy votes during the same 2006 Monroe County general election. After a three day trial, Graves was convicted of conspiring with others to buy votes in order to guarantee his re-election and was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine by Chief United States District Court Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr.

Gary Bartley pleaded guilty, while Ronald Muse and Wanda Moore entered plea agreements with the United States Attorney’s Office and testified against Graves at trial. Moore testified that Graves had given her money to buy votes, and that she had paid around 140 people for their votes with some receiving $40 and others $60. Moore also testified she cooperated with an FBI investigation by wearing a recording device on two occasions while speaking with Graves about paying for votes during the election. Moore was sentenced to two years probation, Muse was sentenced to time served and a period of three years supervised release; and Bartley was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

Both cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas W. Dyke, Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ream, Chief of the Criminal Division for the United States Attorney’s Office, and Teddy Kang and Edward Sullivan, Trial Attorneys with the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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