Third former Scott Taylor staffer indicted on election fraud charge

Politics

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A third former staffer of Scott Taylor, the former Republican congressman representing Virginia’s 2nd District, has been indicted on a charge of election fraud.

According to court records, Heather Guillot was indicted Tuesday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on a charge of making false statements/election fraud — a class 5 felony.

Court records list the offense date as May 31, 2018. She has not been arrested yet, according to records.

Guillot is the third former Taylor staffer to be indicted.

In March, former staffer Lauren Peabody, formerly Lauren Creekmore, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of woeful neglect of election duties in the case. She was given 12 months, all suspended, and a $1,000 fine. She was originally indicted on two felony election fraud charges.

The other person, Roberta Marciano, was indicted in March shortly after Peabody pleaded guilty. She faces two counts of false statements on campaign documents that date back to the 2018 elections.

The case centers around what prosecutors say was a concerted effort by the Taylor campaign to get independent candidate Shaun Brown on the ballot in the race for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Prosecutors say Taylor’s campaign thought Brown would help take votes away from Taylor’s Democratic opponent Elaine Luria, who went on to win the election.

Taylor confirmed the charge against Guillot was in connection with his campaign Tuesday evening. In his statement, he blamed a “Democrat prosecutor” for attempting to distract voters from “real issues” in Virginia’s 2nd District.

Taylor is once again running for the 2nd District seat against current Congresswoman Elaine Luria — and the issue of former staffers being accused of election fraud has been a point of contention in the race.

In August, Taylor sent a cease and desist letter to Luria saying her campaign was making “false and defamatory claims” about Taylor. Meanwhile, Luria said Taylor shows a lack of leadership by trying to remove himself from culpability.

Here’s Taylor’s full statement on the indictment of Guillot:

“Former, 2018 campaign staff made poor, unethical decisions two years ago. Unethical decisions that Scott Taylor would never condone or permit. Scott Taylor had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and has never been under investigation, as Scott was told by the special agent investigating with the Virginia State Police: “in no way are you being looked at as any type of suspect.” Those involved in any illicit behavior can and should be held accountable.

But since 2018, the attorneys appointed to this investigation have unfortunately been more preoccupied with political justice or “poetic justice” than actual justice. Stalling the judicial process and pursuing justice on a politically convenient timeline is unprofessional and disturbing. It is a sad reality that this prosecutor’s actions are dictated by a political agenda, rather than a dutiful responsibility to pursue truth and justice in a timely manner.

It is disappointing to see the democrat prosecutor conduct a political witch hunt in an effort to distract voters away from the real issues facing the 2nd District, such as Elaine Luria’s unaccountable constituent record during a pandemic and bad-for-business voting record.”

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.


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