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October 21, 2011

Galligan aide indicted for voter fraud

JEFFERSONVILLE — Mike Marshall, the man in charge of soliciting absentee ballots in the re-election campaign of Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan, resigned Friday after being indicted on vote fraud, perjury and forgery charges.

A Jennings County Grand Jury issued 66 indictments on Marshall, his son Christopher Marshall and a third Jennings resident, John Cook on Friday. The charges follow an investigation by the Indiana State Police, according to a press release from special prosecutor Aaron Negangard. The investigation stemmed from voter fraud issues regarding absentee ballots and applications submitted in Jennings County in 2010.

Galligan and other local Democrats all said they had no knowledge that Marshall faced the Jennings County charges when he was hired.

In a short interview on Friday, the mayor acknowledged that he’d been working with Marshall for the last eight months. He said he knew his family and that he had campaign experience working in the re-election campaign of Rep. Terry Goodin, a Democrat, and one of Southern Indiana’s state house representatives.

Marshall was one of several people that Galligan personally thanked during his victory speech on primary night in May. According to the latest campaign finance reports, filed Friday, Galligan’s campaign paid Marshall’s business, North Vernon-based At Your Service Co., more than $52,710.23 through the year  — almost a third of the campaign’s total expenditures.

“He was in charge of getting out the vote,” Galligan said. When asked to elaborate on what those duties entailed, he referred questions to campaign manager Phil McCauley.

McCauley said Marshall supervised a staff of about five people who would solicit eligible voters to vote by absentee ballot. Marshall and staff also made phone calls on Galligan’s behalf, McCauley said.

McCauley said he had not heard about the indictment until a reporter called him about Friday afternoon.

“It’s a stunner,” he said.

He called Marshall and read him media coverage of the indictments over the phone.

“He offered me his resignation on the spot,” McCauley said.

“The reason we got Mike Marshall involved was because we thought he was squeaky clean. We wanted everything 100 percent clean,” McCauley said.

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