Lincoln commissioner's federal plea hearing set

By Staff reports
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal plea hearing for Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey Jr., who is accused of participating in a voting fraud scheme, has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 8.On Tuesday, federal authorities charged Ramey with making false statements about his role in the scheme, which has so far resulted in the convictions of Lincoln County sheriff Jerry Bowman, and county clerk Donald Whitten. Prosecutors made the charge in an information, which usually indicates that a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors.
The following day, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston to schedule a plea hearing, at which Ramey is expected to plead guilty.Prosecutors say Bowman falsified more than 100 absentee ballot applications for voters who did not have a legal basis to vote absentee. Whitten and Ramey participated in the scheme and lied about their involvement, prosecutors say.
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