What's Next For Kelty? A Closer look at Election Law

By Nicole Pence

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 15, 2007 at 6:50 PM EDT

Now that Fort Wayne's Republican mayoral candidate is under a nine-count indictment, what does it all mean? Corinne Rose Explains.

Matt Kelty is scheduled for his initial court appearance at 8-30 thursday morning. After being arrested Tuesday afternoon, Matt Kelty was released on his own recognizance. The Republican Fort Wayne mayoral candidate is maintaining his innocence, and claims he'll be vindicated in court.

Here are the charges he faces:
Kelty's facing seven class-d felonies and two class-b misdemeanors related to campaign finance forms filed with the allen county election board, and how he testified about them to the grand jury. The grand jury indicted Kelty for a felony after concluding that Kelty lied to them about whether he knew don willis financially supported his campaign.

The second count of the indictment is another felony for perjury, concluding Kelty lied when he said campaign supporter fred rost didn't tell him he commissioned a poll during the primary.

A third felony stems from filing a fraudulent campaign finance report when he claimed an 8-thousand dollar campaign contribution came from him, rather than Steve and Glenna Jehl.

A fourth felony, comes from a 2-thousand dollar campaign contribution from the same people... Kelty reported it as a personal loan from himself.

There's a fifth felony, for failing to report a 10-thousand dollar contribution from the same people.

A sixth felony charge for fraudulently reporting the source of an "in-kind" contribution of a poll, when Kelty apparently knew the contributors were Fred Rost and Don Willis.

And the seventh felony for fraudulently reporting a 150-thousand dollar contribution from fred rost.. as a personal loan from Kelty to his campaign.

The first misdemeanor charge is for "recklessly co-mingling funds" by depositing that 150-thousand dollar check from fred rost into his personal checking account.

The other for "recklessly co-mingling funds" for Kelty 's depositing the Jehls' 10-thousand dollar contribution into his personal checking account.

No matter what happens to Kelty next in the legal process, it is too late to remove his name from the November election ballot. Nicole Pence explains.

Under Indiana code, a candidate cannot remove his or her name from the ballot, even if they wanted to, after July 15th. Republican leaders made it clear they are not happy with Kelty on the ballot, but there's not much they can do about it.

State laws defines only three conditions left for a candidate to be removed from the ballot legally. One: He or she dies. Two: If they are convicted of a felony. Special Prosecutor Daniel Sigler said that he doesn't believe a trial would be wrapped-up before the November election. The third, way, the route Republican leaders are apparently pushing Matt Kelty to do, is if the candidate moved his/her primary residence outside of city limits, their candidacy would be void. Election Board officials say this has been done in the past, but only the candidate can decide to do that.

Andy Downs/Downs Center for Indiana Politics: "Matt Kelty is saying he will not move outside the district and he is not pleading guilty then there is really nothing that anyone in the Allen County Republican Party or Democrat Party for that matter, can do to have his name removed from the ballot."

The Election Board would have to verify the candidate moved before removing his/her name from the ballot. Andy Downs, with the Election Board, said a removal could happen as late as two weeks before the election.

Matt Kelty wouldn't talk with Indiana's NewsCenter on camera. But said, on the phone, he's innocent, and will not plead guilty to any of the charges, and will not move. He went on to say he "is in to win, both in court and the election in November."

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