Alabama lawmaker agrees to plead guilty to voter fraud

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama legislator has agreed to plead guilty to a felony voter fraud charge that he used a fraudulent address to run for office in a district where he did not live, according to an agreement filed Thursday.

Republican Rep. David Cole of Huntsville will plead guilty to a charge of voting in an unauthorized location, according to a plea agreement filed in state court. He will resign from office on the day he enters his guilty plea.

Cole, a doctor and Army veteran, was elected to the House of Representatives last year. According to a plea agreement, Cole signed a lease for space in a home in order to run for office in that district, but never lived there and never "stepped past the entry foyer" on the two times he visited the location.

“Dr. Cole admits and takes full responsibility for the mistakes he made in the political process. He entered the political process to serve his community," Bill Espy, a lawyer representing Cole, said in a statement.

According to the plea agreement, Cole will serve 60 days in the Madison County Jail and the remainder of a three-year sentence on unsupervised probation.

Cole's arrest on Tuesday comes after accusations surfaced that he did not live in the district in which he was elected.

Elijah Boyd, the Libertarian candidate in the district, had filed an election challenge in civil court, arguing Cole did not live in District 10 and was not eligible to represent the district.

The Associated Press