Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Vote-rigging suspect released


Fairfield council member faces 64 counts of fraud

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Jon Saylor, accused of voter fraud in connection with his election to Fairfield City Council in November, was released from the Butler County Jail on Tuesday after his parents posted a $5,000 bond.

        Calling him a low flight risk, Common Pleas Judge Matthew Crehan reduced Mr. Saylor's bond at a hearing earlier Tuesday from $150,000 to $50,000, and stipulated that 10 percent could be posted.

        “He has no criminal record and he is a longtime resident of Butler County,” the judge said.

        Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Giuliano took no position during the hearing on whether Mr. Saylor's bond should be reduced.

        Mr. Saylor, 27, is charged with voting fraud in a 64-count indictment. He stood next to his attorney, Peter Swenty, during the hearing and gave one- or two-word answers to the judge's questions.

        The judge set Mr. Saylor's trial for Sept. 25.

        Mr. Saylor surrendered to the county sheriff's department Monday morning, three days after his indictment.

        Judge Crehan set the following conditions for Mr. Saylor's re lease, saying he must:

        ăNot travel outside Butler and Hamilton counties.

        ăLive with his parents in Fairfield.

        ăStay in constant contact with Mr. Swenty and let him know where he is at all times.

        ăContact county pre-trial services once a week.

        ăSurrender his passport to pre-trial services.

        “If you fail to obey these conditions, I'm going to have you picked up and I'll put you in jail,” Judge Crehan said.

        “I understand,” Mr. Saylor replied.

        While he awaits trial, he will work at his mother's shop at a mall and at a friend's carryout and deli, Mr. Swenty said.

        Mr. Saylor's girlfriend, Cynthia K. McCloud, also was indicted on three counts in the case — false registration, inducing illegal voting, and an absentee voter's ballot violation.

        Detective Sgt. Mike Craft said Ms. McCloud has been living in Florida and told him she will return to Hamilton on Thursday to surrender to the sheriff's department.

        In November's general election, Mr. Saylor defeated Michael D. Snyder, 820-678, for the First Ward council seat.

        Mr. Saylor is accused of creating phony voters and falsifying absentee ballots and other documents to boost his vote totals.

       



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