Dwayne Horner of Little Elm, Texas was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury yesterday. Horner was the campaign manager for Leigh-Ann Bellew of Union Beach in the 2013 Republican Primary challenge to State Senator Joe Kyrillos.
A copy of the indictment can be found here.
At 4am on June 4, 2013, Republican voters in the 13th legislative district of New Jersey were awakened by a robo call purporting to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates, Assembly Members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon. The caller, allegedly Horner, said they were reminding voters that they still had four hours to get to the polls, as if the call was being make at 4pm.
The indictment charges that Horner impersonated another person or organization for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or for the purpose of injuring or defrauding another. The fourth degree crime has a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
MMM could not find a current phone number for Horner. Bellew could not be reached for comment.
O’Scanlon said,“I’m glad to see that this matter was taken seriously and did not slip through the cracks. Those who would play these types of desperate games during campaigns need to know that there are consequences and they will be mete. It is hard enough to get eligible candidates interested in running without the threat of these juvenile type pranks. This indictment will hopefully be a message to anyone who would attempt it in the future – grow up.”
Kyrillos declined to comment.
UPDATED BELOW THE FOLD
In a statement issued after we broke this story, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said that Horner became Bellew’s campaign manager through his relationship with Monmouth County Resident Robert Linkler, his partner in a company known as Digital Politics.
During the primary campaign, Linkler approached Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal for fundraising assistance. Gopal refused to identify Linkler at the time. Linkler later publicly admitted approaching Gopal for help.
The Prosecutor’s statement also mentioned that Bellew was a Bayshore Tea Party backed candidate. MMM omitted that fact from our initial coverage of Horner’s indictment because BTPG had noting to do with the robocall and because the group’s co-founder Barbara Gonzalez frequently complains that MMM picks on her.