Miami – October 9, 2014
The Miami-Dade State Attorney Office and the Miami-Dade Police Department announce the arrest of James Brady and Samuel Jean for their roles in tampering with the absentee ballots of Ms. Robkevia Scott, Ms. Betty Brockington, Taquesha Robinson and Mr. Willie James Snead during the November 2013 City of Homestead Mayoral and City Council Elections.
Criminal activities which aim to undermine our voting process should offend every citizen of Dade County, commented State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. The actions of my prosecutors and the Miami-Dade Police Department to effectively charge those who try to steal any citizen`s vote show our deep commitment to clean and honest elections. This lengthy investigation aimed to bring all the facts and all of the evidence into the light of day for a sound prosecution.
An investigation was initiated by the Miami-Dade Police Public Corruption Bureau/ Public Corruption Unit after Ms. Robkevia Scott, a resident of the City of Homestead, filed a complaint with the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics. In that complaint she alleged that James Brady and Samuel Jean, workers/volunteers for Homestead Mayoral Campaign Candidate Mark Bell, fraudulently deprived Ms. Scott and three of her relatives of their right to vote for the candidates of their choice.
A series of conversations started on October 14, 2013 with Mark Bell campaign worker/volunteer Samuel Jean inquiring about the status of their four (4) absent ballots and making suggestions as to which candidates to support. On October 16, 2013, Mr. Jean and Mark Bell campaign worker/volunteer Mr. James Brady returned to the Homestead residence, met with all four Homestead residents and offered to assist them in filling out their absentee ballots. According to Betty Brockington Mr. Jean and Mr. Brady filled out the absentee ballots for the family, after getting their input as to which candidates each person wanted to vote for and then attempted to have the ballot envelopes signed. Three of four family members did sign the ballots without reviewing the contents. 22-year-old Robkevia Scott, refused to sign the absentee ballot without reviewing the actual cast votes and took her vote back.
Only then did Ms. Scott notice that Mr. Jean and Mr. James Brady had chosen the candidates the family had specifically said it opposed in the Nov. 5 election: mayoral
candidate Mark Bell and council candidate Norman Hodge Jr. The men left with the 3 ballots and Ms. Scott then contacted the authorities. Upon getting a search warrant for the ballots, it was learned that the 3 ballots had been submitted and the same votes (for Mark Bell and Norman Hodge Jr.) had been indicated. Samuel Jean and James Brady denied filling out the absentee ballots but fingerprint evidence contradicted those claims.
With the recent return of Samuel Jean from Haiti, both Samuel Jean and James Brady are presently being charged with:
Absentee Ballot Voting Violations – 3rd Degree Felony
Violation of Section 12-14 (b) of the Code of MIami-Dade County (Absentee Ballots Ordinance – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
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