Community Activist Arraigned On Election Law Violations

Modified: June 17, 2016 8:50am

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Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 60-year-old John Thompson, a/k/a Rus Thompson of Niagara Falls has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang on an indictment returned by an Erie County Grand Jury charging him with False Registration in violation of the Election Law, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree in violation of the Penal Law and three counts of Illegal Voting in violation of the Election Law.

It is alleged that on September 10, 2015, Thompson registered to vote in the primary election on Grand Island by affidavit ballot, claiming that he resided on Grand Island when the year before he had moved to the City of Niagara Falls.

As a result, Thompson was able to vote in the Grand Island September 2015 primary, November 2015 general election and April 2016 presidential primary. 

Acting DA Flaherty credits the Erie County Board of Elections for its assistance in the case. 

Thompson faces anything from conditional discharge to up to four years in prison on these charges.  These charges do not carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Bonanno, Chief of Acting DA Flaherty’s Public Integrity Unit and Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel are prosecuting the case. 

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.