Find updated story here: Candidate's husband named in alleged fraudulent purchase, Elections Board to investigate
LOUISBURG — The husband of a candidate in tomorrow’s primary election has allegedly committed fraud, according to a superior court judge.
Documents released this afternoon from Go Daddy Inc., name James Eric Dickerson, husband of Clerk of Court candidate Shelley Dickerson, as the purchaser of 16 domain names related to current Clerk Patricia Burnette Chastain’s campaign — an act of identity theft according to Superior Court Judge James E. Hardin.
Identity theft is a felony in North Carolina, punishable by up to 31 months in jail as well as restitution to the victim.
In a March 26 ruling, Hardin determined that on Jan. 14, during the campaign for Franklin County Clerk of Superior Court, someone purchased a series of web addresses, all using Chastain’s name and even the words “forclerk” in an attempt to prevent Chastain from using them during the election.
Under United States law, it is illegal to purchase a web address with “bad faith intent” when the domain name is a personal name.
When reached for comment this afternoon, Eric Dickerson denied any wrong doing.
“To my knowledge, I have not done anything wrong,” he said. “I have not been served with any papers.”
Franklin County District Attorney Sam Currin said that it would be up to local law enforcement to issue warrants in cases of identity theft.
Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones could not be immediately reached.
Both Chastain and Dickerson are Democrats and the winner will run unopposed in November.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.
-Clellie Allen, editor