Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Kiowa County attorney investigates potential electioneering violation

  • Kiowa County Attorney Scott James is investigating whether an anonymous fax-sender violated rules by tipping off the court to a 2005 warrant for a judicial candidate's arrest.
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  • Kiowa County's prosecutor has opened an investigation to determine if an electioneering violation occurred when information containing a copy of misdemeanor charges against a district judge candidate was received near a voting booth.
    Prosecutor Scott James, who also serves as a Ford County assistant prosecutor, said the documents including a 2005 possession of marijuana were faxed to the Kiowa County Clerk of Courts addressed to the magistrate judge by an anonymous tipster.
    The fax machine at the Kiowa County Courthouse that received the documents is within 250 feet of an advance voting booth and may be an electioneering violation, a Class C misdemeanor under Kansas law, James said.
    The inclusion of a copied page from the "blue book" directory of attorneys, typically something owned by lawyers and law firms, and that the fax was received with no callback number suggests that the informant is a member of the local legal community and would know the liability of sending information while advanced, in-office voting is taking place.
    Other law enforcement and judicial agencies received similar documents including the Meade County Court and Clark County Sheriff's Office, James said.
    The Dodge City Police Department also received some of the documents in a letter without a return address.
    The confidential source that supplied some of the documents sent to Kiowa County to the Globe on July 15 claims that the mass release came from another, unknown person. The Globe reporter agreed to confidentiality as a condition for meeting with the source.
    Giardine traveled to Lansing, Mich., where the charges were filed. A charge for misdemeanor possession of marijuana was dismissed. Instead, Giardine paid a $300 fine for "disorderly person, jostling." He said taking the lesser charge was a tactical decision over facing face an out-of-state trial.
    Correction: A previous version of this story was incorrect on the date the Globe received the information, that day was Tuesday, July 15, not July 14.
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