It seemed like the rare, slam-dunk case of voter fraud.
Two men stood accused of unlawfully handling four other people’s mail-in ballots in the 2013 Homestead mayoral election, filling at least one of them for precisely the candidates the voter didn’t want to vote for. Miami-Dade County investigators had a palm print and fingerprints, phone records, and suspicious stories from the defendants.
What they didn’t count on: lack of cooperation from the voters who were victims of the purported fraud — even though the voters themselves were the ones who initially alerted authorities they had been duped.
At the first trial, the witnesses changed their original testimony. At the second, one of the witnesses testified she didn’t remember the day the incident took place altogether.
And so, James Brady and Samuel Jean, the two campaign workers charged with voter fraud in 2014, didn’t go to jail. Brady, 33, of Florida City, wasn’t convicted: Prosecutors dropped the third-degree felony and misdemeanor charges against him in February after one of the key witnesses, voter Betty Brockington, said at his trial that “she did not remember what had happened on the day in question,” according to a Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office memo closing the investigation.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said Brady, who says he’s been focused on ministry, youth coaching and his family. “I’m not mad at anyone. I think the state did their job. I just wish it hadn’t taken so long. When you have something over your head like that, it’s kind of hard to focus.”