No grand jury will be called to investigate an allegation that Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis violated state election law until he has first had a hearing with the Boone County Election Board, Boone Prosecutor Todd Meyer said Wednesday.
The three-member election board unanimously agreed on Friday that there was merit to a complaint by Aaron Smith, Lebanon, that Lewis violated election law by using city email, fax and postal addresses as ways for the public to contact his re-election campaign.
But there may have been no violation, Meyer said. State law requires the election board give Lewis a chance to respond to the complaint before it is referred to the prosecutor, Meyer said. If the prosecutor finds merit to the complaint, a grand jury would be convened to determine if charges should be filed, a class A misdemeanor in this case.
“This office will not take any further action on this matter unless and until a complaint, including the board's detailed report, is referred to this office following the requisite hearing,” Meyer said in a written response to the election board's letter.
State law “is very clear regarding the process the election board should take when confronted with an election law complaint,” Meyer said in an email Wednesday afternoon. It stipulates that a person who has been accused of a violation shall have an opportunity for a hearing.
Pick up the Thursday, Feb. 19, issue of The Lebanon Reporter to see more of this story.