Man pleads guilty to Dodge County vote buying

A Helena man has pleaded guilty to buying a vote for former Dodge County Sheriff Lawton Douglas, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Olin Norman Gibson, 43, entered his plea in Dublin on Thursday.

Douglas also pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy votes and for voters to cast multiple ballots in connection with the 2004 election.

At the hearing, prosecutors presented evidence that Douglas provided money to supporters, including Gibson, to be used to buy votes. Evidence also revealed supporters paid voters for blank absentee ballots that then were cast as votes for Douglas in the election, according to a news release.

Douglas and Gibson could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years on supervised release. A sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled, according to the release.

Douglas and Gibson remain on bond until the hearing.

Charges against 43-year-old Thedy Deneen McLeod were referred to the state authorities who will determine whether to press charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. McLeod was indicted in 2009 along with Douglas and Gibson.