Judge Rules GAGOP “Election Integrity” Advocate and 1st VC Brian K. Pritchard Voted Illegally

Back in June, I covered the surprise election of Georgia “election integrity” advocate Brian K. Pritchard to the position of 1st Vice Chair of the Georgia Republican Party. In the post, How do You Solve a Problem like Pritchard, I noted, “rather than the GRA throwing out the “Establishment’ wing of the GAGOP, the delegates in several key races not only threw out the “Establishment,’ but also the GRA’s picks. GRA endorsed candidate for 1st Vice-Chair Marci McCarthy did not beat incumbent BJ Van Gundy, but it was Brian K. Pritchard, who runs his own conspiracy-laced “news” outlet in North Georgia who beat both Van Gundy and McCarthy.”

The accusations about Pritchard illegally voting in NINE elections while he was under probation for a conviction for felony forgery, a crime involving moral turpitude, had been known since Pritchard had made an ill-fated run for the Georgia House of Representatives in the special election following the death of David Ralston. When his past conviction and possible illegal voting became an issue in the campaign, Pritchard defiantly told the AJC, “I’ve not done anything wrong here. I guess if you’re apprehending public enemy No. 1, here I am.”

Pritchard has remained steadfastly defiant in the accusations, basically claiming “stupidity” as a defense to the illegal actions for which he has now been convicted, basically claiming he did know he was still under probation for his 1996 felony conviction.

However, according to the AJC, records show, “that [Pritchard’s] probation had been repeatedly revoked and extended until 2011. Georgia law prohibits felons from voting until they’ve completed their sentences.”

Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs, in her 26 page decision, wasn’t convinced of Pritchard’s “I KNOW NOTHING!” defense, writing, “The court does not find the respondent’s explanations credible or convincing. At the very least, even if the court accepts he did not know about his felony sentences, the record before this court demonstrates that he should have known.”

The decision notes, “[Pritchard] appeared in court with counsel on March 18, 1999, for the revocation of his probation. The certified records showed that Judge McGregor in Allegheny County, PA, where Pritchard was convicted, ultimately imposed a new three-year probationary sentence effective March 18, 1999. The Respondent would be supervised by the Northhampton county probation office, though he would remain in “non-reporting” status (meaning he would not be required to check-in with his probation officer)” (page 4 of the decision).

Bogg’s decision also notes that Pritchard testified that he was not represented by counsel (court records show he was), that he did not recall that his probation had been extended at the hearing or that he was ordered to continue paying restitution (also contradicting the court record), but he claimed he did remember that Judge McGregor told him the matter was a “civil judgement” and that the judge “did not want the matter in his court any longer” (which is not found anywhere in the court record).

Pritchard also claimed he did not know anything about a 2002 order to reappear before Judge McGregor where, on April 2, his probation was revoked and a new sentence imposed adding an additional two years of probation with the special condition that he pay $40 to $50 a month in restitution and report to his probation officer by phone. Despite Pritchard’s testimony that he did not appear in court on April 2, 2002, records show he was indeed present (pages 5-6 of the decision).

Judge Boggs was only able to order a civil fine totaling $5,000 in penalties for illegally registering to vote and illegally voting NINE TIMES, and costs of $375.14 to cover the cost of the investigation. Pritchard will also receive a public reprimand by the State Elections Board.

While civil penalties do not carry the same legal consequences that a criminal conviction would as the standard is “preponderance of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt”, they also do not preempt a possible criminal prosecution, which would be up to the local District Attorney to prosecute.

Pritchard’s testimony shows what had become all too evident in the new grifting class that has moved into the leadership of today’s Republican Party, especially in Georgia…that far too many will defend and/or dismiss clear evidence of violations by Republicans while steadfastly condemning perceived violations from the other side where no evidence, but only speculation and conspiracy theories abound.

Even the RNC is now asking job applicants if they believe the 2020 election was stolen.

There is no good way to spin Pritchard’s testimony or defensive claims. He is either someone willing to lie under oath in the face of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, or suffering from some severe affliction greatly affecting his memory. But I’m sure there will be many who continue to rally around him and blame “the System” or “the Establishment” or “RINOs”.

For Georgia Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon, it continues to pose the same question that was asked in June after the Republican Party Convention…How do you solve a problem like Pritchard?

But is it a problem McKoon is even willing to solve?

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