A grand jury indictment against former Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux was announced today by the Alaska Department of Law.
Earlier this year, two misdemeanor election-tampering charges against LeDoux were dropped, but eight charges remained, and a hearing was set for later this month.
LeDoux, an Anchorage Republican who represented District 15 (JBER-Muldoon), along with Lisa Vaught Simpson and Caden Vaught all face various charges relating to LeDoux’s 2014 and 2018 House races. Simpson had been LeDoux’s chief of staff in the Legislature and sometimes roommate in Juneau. Caden Vaught is her son.
“On June 2, 2021, an Anchorage grand jury indicted Gabrielle LeDoux, Lisa (Vaught) Simpson, and Caden Vaught on multiple counts of voter misconduct in the first degree. These charges stem from the investigation that started in 2018 after the Division of Elections identified some irregularities in some of the absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots returned for the primary election for House District 15. The Alaska State Troopers, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, conducted the investigation,” the Department of Law wrote.
Among the suspicious voting patterns in District 15, ballots were requested by seven people who were dead, and several other people say they never cast a ballot, although ballots were received by the Division of Election in their name.
An investigation was started by the State Troopers, and the case was also referred to the FBI. Previous charges included allegations that the three were principles and accomplices who knowingly provided false information on voter registration forms to show a residence address in House District 15, when there is evidence that Simpson and Vaught were not living, and had no intent to live, at the addresses provided at the time of the election.
The previous charging documents also alleged that LeDoux solicited a similar action by other individuals in 2014 in order to ensure they could vote in the House District 15 election. But the grand jury is focused on the 2018 election, when the Division of Elections found numerous ballots linked to a single address.
“The charges involve alleged conduct that took place in both the 2018 primary and general elections. Ms. LeDoux and Ms. Simpson were each indicted on five counts of voter misconduct in the first degree and Mr. Vaught was indicted on four counts of voter misconduct in the first degree. On June 10, 2021, all three defendants appeared, either in person or by phone, in court at a Superior Court arraignment and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. The date of their next court appearance has yet to be set.”
If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Read: Charlie Chang now dead, LeDoux says
LeDoux ran for reelection in 2020, but lost in the primary to David Nelson, a young, clean-cut Republican new to election politics. She has maintained her innocence throughout, but the Hmong community in District 15 lost faith in her, and withdrew their important endorsement.
This story will be updated. Check back.