Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rising Sun Police Officer Faces 13 Vote Fraud-Related Felony Charges

A Rising Sun police officer beating the bushes to get votes in this year's Democratic municipal primary election where his father was running for a contested council seat has been charged with 13 felony charges after a State Police investigation found evidence of vote fraud. Lowell Ross Colen, 42, has been charged with multiple counts of vote fraud, forgery, ghost employment and official misconduct.

State Police opened an investigation this past June following allegations of Colen's activities to influence people to vote in this past May's primary election in Ohio County where his father was seeking a seat on the Rising Sun city council. “While doing so, he allegedly filled out absentee applications and ballots for individuals who were not eligible to vote in Ohio County. Colen allegedly forged signatures on some of the applications and ballots and submitted them to the Ohio County Clerk’s Office,” said ISP Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the ISP Versailles Post.

An Indiana State Police news release says Colen was in his police uniform on on duty at the time some of the alleged criminal actions took place. At the conclusion of the ISP's investigation, the case was turned over to the Ohio County Prosecutor's Office, which issued a bench warrant for Colen's arrest on Wednesday. According to, Colen's father, Francis "Swede" Colin, defeated James McDaniels in this May's primary in a city council race by 273 to 161 votes. Colin's father is a former Ohio County sheriff. Colen is currently on leave from his job as a result of a work-related injury he sustained last month.

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