Thursday, January 30, 2003

UK student leader indicted on fraud charge

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - A grand jury has indicted the president of the University of Kentucky's student government on a charge he willfully failed to return voter registration cards to the county clerk's office.

Tim Robinson, a law student at Kentucky, would face a Class D felony and one to five years in prison, if convicted.

Last year, Robinson initiated a voter-registration drive at UK, mostly aimed at ousting city council candidate Dick DeCamp, who supported a plan to curb student partying. Robinson told City Council members he had registered 800 students.

But student government representatives and the grand jury report said 747 completed cards were found in the SGA office.

DeCamp beat Don Pratt by fewer than 400 votes in the November election. Pratt has said he won't challenge the results.

A Kentucky student complained to County Clerk Don Blevins, who reported it to the county attorney's office.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Bouvier said he couldn't discuss particulars of the case, including how many students might have been turned away at the polls.

Paul VanBooven, the school's general counsel, said the university's legal office would confer with the dean of students office regarding whether charges are warranted under the university's Code of Student Conduct.

Robinson's indictment was part of a larger report on the November election. The report said the missing forms from UK were part of a larger problem resulting from the federal "motor-voter" law, which allows registration forms to be obtained from various sources, without any way to account for them.

The grand jury's report recommended that some changes be made to the motor-voter law, including requiring all blank voter-registration cards to be sequentially numbered.

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