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Thompson indicted, arraigned on election law violations


Fri, Jun 17th 2016 06:25 pm

Rus Thompson was indicted and arraigned on charges of violating election law Thursday.

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. announced the 60-year-old Thompson was arraigned June 16 before State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang after an Erie County Grand Jury returned an indictment June 9 charging him with false registration in violation of the election law, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree in violation of the penal law, and three counts of illegal voting in violation of the election law.

It is alleged that on Sept. 10, 2015, Thompson registered to vote in the primary election on Grand Island by affidavit ballot, claiming that he resided on Grand Island when the year before he had moved to the City of Niagara Falls. As a result, Thompson was able to vote in the Grand Island September 2015 primary, November 2015 general election and April 2016 presidential primary.

Flaherty credits the Erie County Board of Elections for its assistance in the case.

Thompson faces anything from conditional discharge to up to four years in prison on these charges. These charges do not carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Bonanno, chief of Acting DA Flaherty's public integrity unit, and Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel are prosecuting the case.

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