A member of Ohio's Franklin County election board said Friday that prosecutors are investigating whether a GOP political consultant tried to bribe the board's director to buy voting equipment made by his client, Diebold Inc, the (information-restricted) Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Saturday.
The director, Matthew Damschroder, has told prosecutors that the consultant, Pat Gallina, came to his office in early 2004, offering him $20,000.
"Pat Gallina came into my office at the Board of Elections and said, 'I'm here to give you $20,000. Who should I direct it to?' " Damschroder recalled. "I said, 'Certainly not to me. But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a voluntary donation. That was my first mistake."
The law prohibits Damschroder from accepting political contributions on county property. He said he took the check home and mailed it to the party, where he had just completed a stint as executive director.
Damschroder said Franklin County was in the process of selecting a new electronic voter registration system and that Diebold was not chosen.i
Gallina did not return calls, directly or through business associates, seeking comment.