Union County Man Indicted on Federal Election Tampering and Vote Buying Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 23, 2009|
KNOXVILLE, TN—Charlie Edward Cox, age 71, of Union County, Tennessee, was arrested today by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigaton (FBI) on charges contained in a six (6) count indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Knoxville, Tennessee. This arrest was announced by United States Attorney James R. “Russ” Dedrick and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Richard L. Lambert, Jr.
An initial appearance is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today, in United States District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee, before the Honorable C. Clifford Shirley, Jr., United States Magistrate Judge.
According to the indictment, Cox violated Title 42, United States Code, Section 1793i(c), by allegedly paying and offering to pay six (6) different individuals for voting during an early election held in Union County, Tennessee, on or about August 3, 2006. This election was held in part for the purpose of selecting a candidate for the office of Member of the United States Senate.
In response to today's arrest, United States Attorney Dedrick said, “this Indictment by the grand jury reflects the commitment of the the Department of Justice to aggressively investigate and prosecute persons who seek to corrrupt the integrity of our election process. Individuals involved with vote buying and bribery will be aggressively pursued to insure that our right to vote is protected to the fullest extent of the law as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Lambert said, “Whenever cash is dolled out to buy a public office, the entire electorate is robbed of its voting rights, sabotaging the integrity of the democratic process and spawning a climate of hopelessness and apathy. The FBI is committed to combating election fraud at all levels of government to ensure that fairness and objectivity remain hallmarks of the voting process.”
The indictment and subsequent arrest of Cox are the result of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Matthew T. Morris represents the United States.
Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
For additional information, please contact United States Attorney Russ Dedrick, AUSA Matthew Morris, or Public Information Officer Sharry Dedman-Beard, 865-545-4167.