David Goins with our content partner, Fox 16 News, reports that former State Rep. Hudson Hallum (D-Marion) was sentenced today to one year of home detention, three years of probation for conspiracy to violate the federal Travel Act.
Hallum also will have to pay a $20,000 fine and serve 100 hours of community service.
“You undermined the confidence voters have in the system,” U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker told Hallum at his sentencing on Thursday (June 20).
Hallum, 30, resigned from office last September after an investigation of voter and election fraud turned up significant evidence of wrongdoing in a 2011 special election for the House District 54 seat. He accepted full responsibility and cooperated with federal authorities.
“I have always felt a calling for public service,” Hallum said in September 2012. “I ran for office because I simply thought it was another opportunity to serve the public. While I ran for office for all the right reasons, in order to win the election, I made awful decisions. Going forward, I am committed to demonstrating to my community, and to my family, how very much I regret this serious mistake.”
He and his father acknowledged destroying absentee ballots that contained votes of his opponent in a May 2011 special election that Hallum won by a very small margin. Prosecutors also collected evidence that Hallum, his father and two other defendants admitted to buying votes. The two other defendants included West Memphis City Council member Phillip Carter and Crittenden County quorum court member Sam Malone.
A prosecutor’s indictment at the time of the resignation and pleading outlined several transgressions in the ordeal.
For example in May 2011, Carter and Malone provided a chicken dinner to an individual in exchange for the absentee ballot votes of that individual and one other individual.
Further, the felony information stated that in early May 2011, Carter contacted Hudson Hallum about a family of eight who had requested a “family meal” in exchange for their absentee ballot votes being cast in favor of Hudson Hallum. Carter requested $20 from Hudson Hallum to pay for the food, to which Hudson Hallum agreed.
Hallum also told Carter, “We need to use that black limo and buy a couple of cases of some cheap vodka and whiskey to get people to vote.” Two days later, Carter and Kent Hallum spoke with an individual in Memphis, Tennessee about getting a discounted price for the purchase of 100 half pints of vodka for the campaign.