Fort Wayne GOP mayoral candidate Matt Kelty has been indicted on 9 counts of campaign-finance related offenses by an Allen Co. grand jury for failing to disclose a loan of $158,000 he received from three close campaign supporters, including 7 Class D felony counts and 2 misdemeanor counts. Indiana's News Center reports:
A grand jury investigating whether Republican mayoral nominee Matt Kelty broke any campaign finance laws Tuesday returned a nine-count indictment against the candidate.
Word of the indictment was confirmed by Off. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff's Department. Stone said late Tuesday afternoon that officers were in the process of arresting Kelty.
Kelty revealed after the May primary that some $160,000 he claimed he lent to his own campaign actually came from three of his key supporters.
The Allen County Election Board voted in June that Kelty did not violate campaign finance laws. But a complaint was filed with the Allen County prosecutor's office, keeping the case alive.
Dan Sigler from Whitley County was appointed as special prosecutor, and last month he asked that a grand jury be impaneled.Six jurors and an alternate began meeting last week to determine whether Kelty violated state campaign finance laws.
Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler detailed the counts against Kelty in a live interview outside the courtroom this evening. Surprising indictments include 2 Class D felony charges for perjury pertaining to false testimony Kelty gave concerning the Zogby poll, which Fred Rost and Don Willis financed but Kelty claimed was only financed by Fred Rost. Kelty originally tried to claim his campaign had nothing to do with the poll. He later relented to pressure and disclosed it as an in-kind contribution from Rost. Sigler maintains Don Willis also helped finance the poll. Five of the counts against Kelty were for filing fraudulent campaign finance reports, while the two misdemeanor charges involved the commingling of personal and campaign funds.
Today's 9-count indictment of Kelty confirms my earlier assertion that the Allen Co. Election Board chose to ignore the plain meaning of Indiana's campaign finance law when it determined, based upon the arguments advanced by Kelty attorney Jim Bopp, that candidates need not disclose the source of money loaned to them by a third party. The Allen Co. GOP is going to regret its decision to rally behind Kelty in the face of his admitted violation of our campaign finance laws. It should have done what was right and demanded Kelty step aside. The party is now almost assured of defeat this November.