Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Man indicted on election fraud charge

Led S. Lebanon petition drive

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A 50-year-old truck driver who led a campaign to repeal South Lebanon's 1 percent income tax was indicted Monday on charges of election falsification.

Warren County Prosecutor Tim Oliver said James Pottorf is accused of falsely certifying that he witnessed every signature on the petition.

"He had several people circulating the petition," Mr. Oliver said. "He signed it as the circulator when he didn't personally witness the signatures."

The petition was circulated in May and June, then turned in to the village clerk, who had 10 days to inspect the signatures before turning the petitions over to the county board of elections.

Village Administrator John Louallen raised questions about the petition after talking to people who signed it. The issue was not placed on the ballot.

"He asked some people why they would sign this, and they said So-and-so asked them to. So-and-so didn't turn out to be Mr. Pottorf," Mr. Oliver said.

Mr. Louallen and Mr. Pottorf could not be reached for comment Monday. The criminal charge is a felony punishable by up to a year in prison.

In other indictments, the grand jury:

Charged a 52-year-old pharmacist at Thriftway in Mason with illegal processing of drug documents and theft of drugs. Todd Latour of Lebanon is accused of stealing cough syrup for himself from the pharmacy in October, and of writing and filling prescriptions for hydrocodone and butalbital in June and September for his wife.

Increased charges against two men jailed in a five-hour armed robbery spree in Deerfield Township this month. Township resident Shane Parker Prince, 21, and Jeremy Wayne White, 20, of Mason, each face two counts of felonious assault, five counts of aggravated robbery and a single charge of aggravated burglary.

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com

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