CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Mingo County magistrate was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to a federal vote charge.
Dallas Toler, 45, also was fined $5,000 and will spend 3 years on probation after release.
He had pleaded guilty last December to charges that he illegally registered a convicted felon to vote in the 2012 primary election.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston in Charleston sentenced Toler to more than the six months suggested under federal guidelines. Johnston said political and electoral corruption perverts the election process and is an affront to justice. "The long history of election and political corruption in Mingo County and southern West Virginia must stop. It erodes public confidence, and justice itself flounders," he said. That's the case even though Toler only affected the election process by one vote, the judge said.
Federal prosecutors said Toler's bond was revoked in February because of his alleged involvement in cocaine distribution. Official charges have not been filed against him in the drug case. The judge indicated Toler's actions while on bond show a lack of respect for the law and the potential for future criminal behavior.
Defense attorney Joseph Farrell asked the judge for a medical furlough for his client to have surgery and recover. He said Toler suffers from a medical condition and facing the amputation of at least one toe.
Johnston said he believes the Bureau of Prisons is capable of handling Toler's medical treatment.
Toler asked to serve his sentence as near to his family in Mingo County as possible.