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Chattooga County Lawyer Fined $18K for Election Fraud

PRESS ADVISORY

Chattooga County Lawyer Fined $18K for Election Fraud

December 7, 2011

Albert C. Palmour, a ChattoogaCounty lawyer, must pay an $18,000.00 fine for his role in aiding Carlton Vines, a 2006 State Court Judge candidate, in an election fraud scheme involving absentee ballots after the Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed Palmour’s appeal.

Palmour was charged with allowing Vines access to his postal meter machine to provide postage for 18 fraudulent absentee ballots. After Vines won the 2006 election in Chattooga County, an investigation was conducted, and he was charged with felony election fraud for unauthorized possession of absentee ballots. During Vines’ criminal jury trial, evidence revealed that the absentee ballots had been run through Palmour’s postal machine. Palmour testified at the trial and admitted to providing the postage.

The State Election Board (SEB) charged Palmour with unlawful possession of ballots. After an administrative review process, the SEB voted to impose an $18,000.00 penalty, a cease and desist order and to issue a public reprimand. Palmour appealed to Fulton County Superior Court, and Judge Kelly A. Lee affirmed the SEB’s sanctions in August, 2011. Palmour then appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, and the Court dismissed the appeal on December 1, 2011.

The jury was unable to reach a decision in Vines’ criminal case, and the Court declared a mistrial. Additionally, the SEB filed civil charges against Vines, and settlement was reached that included a $15,000.00 civil penalty.

Assistant Attorney General Ann Brumbaugh represented the SEB in the case.