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Md. GOP campaign operative guilty of fraud

Dec. 7, 2011 at 1:23 AM

BALTIMORE, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Former Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich's campaign manager faces as much as 12 years in prison after being convicted Tuesday of election fraud.

Paul Schurick remained calm as the jury delivered its verdict, while his wife began crying, The Baltimore Sun reported. Prosecutors did not request to have him jailed pending his sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 16.

Prosecutors said Schurick approved a last-minute robocall on Election Day in 2010 that was designed to suppress the vote in heavily black and Democratic Prince George's County, near Washington, and the city of Baltimore. The call said Gov. Michael O'Malley had won his rematch with Ehrlich.

"Political operatives in Maryland take note," Susan Wichmann, head of Common Cause Maryland, said in a statement. "Suppressing the vote is not just a 'dirty trick,' it is a crime and it will not be tolerated."

Byron L. Warnken of the University of Baltimore law school predicted Schurick will receive a suspended sentence or probation.

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