Friday, March 20, 2009

LONDON, KY. (AP) - An eastern Kentucky judge, school superintendent and county clerk have pleaded not guilty in federal court a day after being indicted on charges they bribed voters in a scheme to rig several elections.

Clay County Circuit Court Judge Russell Cletus Maricle, school superintendent Douglas C. Adams and County Clerk Freddy Thompson pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court. Their charges include racketeering, bribery, extortion and voter fraud.

Maricle was ordered held in jail for the weekend after prosecutors said he may try to flee or intimidate witnesses.

The other five people indicted in the alleged scheme also pleaded not guilty.

A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office claims the officials tried to rig federal, state and local elections in 2002, 2004 and 2006 in Clay County.

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