Former Dodge sheriff pleads guilty to vote-buying charge

Former Dodge County Sheriff Lawton Douglas Jr. pleaded guilty to a federal vote-buying conspiracy charge Thursday stemming from elections in 2004.

Paul Kish, Douglas’s lawyer, said additional charges of vote buying and conspiracy will be dismissed in exchange for Douglas’s plea entered Thursday in Dublin.

As another condition of the plea, no additional charges will be brought stemming from other elections, Kish said.

“This is a very sad day for this young man,” Kish said.

Douglas was 32 when he ran for sheriff, he said.

“He always wanted to be the sheriff of Dodge County,” Kish said. “He made some mistakes and cut some corners.”

A sentencing date has not been set.

Douglas was indicted in July 2009 on two counts of conspiracy and four counts of vote buying, according to U.S. District Court records.

He was elected sheriff in 2004 and served until December 2008.

Two other people, 43-year-old Olin Norman “Bobo” Gibson of Helena and 43-year-old Thedy Deneen McLeod also were named in the indictment.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.