County elections chief arrested on fraud charges

By – Associated Press – Sunday, May 3, 2020

BRISTOL, Fla. (AP) – According to court records, a Florida supervisor of elections helped herself to the office credit card and bank account over a nearly four-year period and tried to cover her tracks by claiming the money was spent on election security.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Liberty County Supervisor of Elections Gina McDowell was arrested Friday on several felony counts of fraud and official misconduct. She was booked into the Liberty County Jail and later released on her own recognizance. Her arrest prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to suspend her from office.

It is unclear if she has retained an attorney.

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She and her boyfriend, Nolan Kobe Pigott, allegedly spent more than $42,000 on personal expenses, including out-of-town travel and Christmas shopping, along with purchases at the grocery store and fast food restaurants. Court records show they used the money on more than 100 gift cards. During interviews with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, she blamed her boyfriend on the allegations.

“That was not me,” she said when questioned about some of the personal expenses. “That had to be him.”

Pigott has not been located, officials said.

Liberty County is on Florida’s Panhandle, and includes Apalachicola State Forest.

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