Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant joined United States Attorney Booth Goodwin this morning at a press conference in which the plea agreements and resignations of two Lincoln County elected officials were announced.
Lincoln County Clerk Donald Whitten and Lincoln County Sheriff Jerry Bowman entered plea agreements to federal charges resulting from a 20 month investigation conducted by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The investigation and plea agreements arose from the May 2010 Primary Election and the absentee ballot voting.
“I will not tolerate election law violations by anyone, regardless of party or position,” Secretary Tennant said. “Our record demonstrates that the Office of the Secretary of State can be counted on to do its job, to thoroughly investigate all allegations, to produce results, and to protect the rights of honest voters.
“Every election and every vote are important. Not for who would be elected, but for what it represents – our democracy, our freedom, and our ability to choose who we want to lead us. And I will not allow that to be jeopardized. The public’s confidence in our elections is paramount.”
Secretary Tennant thanked the Investigations Unit of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, U.S. Attorney Goodwin, and the FBI agents for their cooperative efforts in bringing this investigation to this stage.
Click here to read the Bowman plea agreement
Click here to read the Bowman information
Click here to read the Whitten plea agreement
Click here to read the Whitten information