Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 15, 2012

Ex-W.Va. county official sentenced to 21 months

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — A former West Virginia county official will spend 21 months in federal prison for his role in an election fraud scheme.

Thomas Ramey Jr. was a Lincoln County commissioner when he lied to an FBI agent about his handling of fraudulent absentee ballots. The 32-year-old Democrat pleaded guilty to that charge in August after resigning from office.

Ramey was part of a conspiracy to flood the 2010 Democratic primary with absentee ballots. That plot also involved then-Sheriff Jerry Bowman and then-Clerk Donald Whitten. Both resigned and pleaded guilty. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Johnston sentenced each to prison in August.

Prosecutors asked Johnston to consider those punishments when he sentenced Ramey on Thursday in Charleston. Ramey asked for probation with a period of home confinement if necessary.