Former Edgar County Airport board member faces felony charges over voting
A former Edgar County Airport Advisory Board member who resigned in 2015 after being questioned about his residency has been charged with two counts of Voting Outside of Precinct Residence, a Class D felony, according to the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW).
Jerome "J.D." Kesler, the deputy director of the Vigo County, Indiana, Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and a special deputy for the Vigo County Sheriff's office, has entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
The ECW said on their Illinois Leaks website that Kesler appears to have moved from Vigo County to Edgar County, Illinois, in 2010, but failed to change his voter registration. He allegedly voted in the Vigo County primary and general elections between 2010 and 2014.
The Vigo County EMA requires residency for its employees.
Kesler resigned from the airport board in 2015 after ECW co-founder Jim Kraft questioned him regarding his Edgar County residency and voter registration information. While his Statement of Economic Interests filed with Edgar County in March 2015 showed an address in Paris, Illinois, Kesler's voter registration and homeowner's exemptions showed addresses in West Terre Haute and New Goshen, Indiana, respectively, the ECW alleged.
The Kokomo Tribune-Star reported in June that Kesler told Vigo County commissioners that he had recently divorced and was listed as a property owner in Illinois but actually resided in Indiana.
“We were aware of the allegation but the ability to determine whether or not a crime has been committed can only be done by law enforcement in connection with the prosecutor’s office,” county attorney Michael Wright told the Tribune-Star.
Kesler's jury trial is scheduled for November 2.