An indictment issued by a federal grand jury in New Orleans, Louisiana, was unsealed charging former Amite City Police Chief Jerry Trabona and current Amite City Councilmember Kristian Hart with criminally violating federal election laws as part of a scheme to pay for votes in a federal election.
According to the indictment, Trabona, 73, of Amite City, and Hart, 49, of Amite City, conspired to and did unlawfully pay voters to cast their ballots for certain candidates during the 2016 Open Primary Election and the 2016 Open General Election in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.
Trabona and Hart are each charged with conspiracy to buy votes and multiple counts of buying votes.
Smith pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lance Africk on Nov. 29, and Batiste pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Martin L.C.
Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana made the announcement.