FRANKFORT — Some of the most powerful public officials in Clay County corrupted elections in recent years, buying and stealing votes in pursuit of power and money, a federal jury ruled Thursday.
The jury convicted all eight people on trial, including former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle, 66, and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams, 58, on a charge that they engaged in organized criminal acts to rig elections.
After a seven-week trial, jurors deliberated about nine hours before convicting the defendants on all the charges they faced, which included vote-buying, mail fraud, extortion and money laundering.
They face up to 20 years each on some charges.
The jury also ruled they were jointly liable for a judgment of $3.2 million, based on the salaries and contracts they were able to get as a result of illegal acts.
At the request of prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves ordered all eight jailed pending sentencing in August. Most had been free or on home detention before the trial.
After the conviction, Reeves ruled that they posed a danger to the community and that there was a risk they would flee.
Family members wept as the eight were led from the courtroom in handcuffs at the end of the day.
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