Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and Indiana State Police Detective Steve Nash appeared before the County Election Board Wednesday morning to discuss an investigation with a pamphlet that appeared in Argos during the primary.
Chipman presented two statutes that deal with the requirements for a disclaimer on written political material. The prosecutor indicated that the pamphlet in the investigation was written against one of the candidates for the Republican Town Convention to fill the seat of the Clerk Treasurer.
Officer Nash investigated the case and determined some of the pamphlet were mailed to individuals through the U.S. Postal system. The statute states the disclaimer must be on the written material if more than 100 were distributed.
The investigation revealed a person of interest that they are focused on who they believe is responsible for the publication of the pamphlet. Chipman said he could go to court and seek an order to get a handwriting sample from that person and have it analyzed by experts to determine if it matched the handwriting on the envelopes that were used. Chipman said he’s wasn’t inclined to prosecute at this time because they cannot meet the required threshold of 100 and because its a misdemeanor. The prosecutor said, “If our office was inundated with telephone calls from people from Argos saying I got the brochure and they’re willing to testify to that in court I would take a look at it again. If we got over 100.”
Chipman closed his comments by stating, “I brought this to you in a public meeting, with the media here, to see if people were interested in Argos to enforce this statute, to let us know indeed they got this brochure. Undoubtedly that brochure had an affect.”
The Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office phone number is 935-8666.