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Diebold lobbyist tried to bribe Ohio county with $20,000

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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.

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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."

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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.

Originally published on Saturday July 16, 2005.

 


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