RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The political operative indicted this week as part of the criminal investigation into election fraud in the state’s ninth Congressional district bonded out of jail Thursday with the help of a Bladen County commissioner.
A grand jury indicted McCrae Dowless earlier this week on charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and possession of absentee ballots.
Neither he nor his attorney Cynthia Singletary commented as he left the Wake County Detention Center.
Bladen County Commissioner Ray Britt said he traveled to Wake County to post Dowless’ bond.
“But, I want you to know my statement is this: If McCrae Dowless has done something wrong, let him pay the consequences. But, I also believe in the true course of the law. You’re not guilty until proven guilty,” Britt told CBS17.
During last week’s hearing by the state Board of Elections, Republican Congressional candidate Mark Harris said he hired Dowless to help him win votes in Bladen County. He said Ray Britt attended the first meeting he had with Dowless nearly two years ago. Harris has denied knowing of any wrongdoing.
State investigators accused Dowless of running an “absentee ballot scheme” in which he would pay people to sign up to vote absentee by mail. Then, the people working for him would return to those voters, collect their ballots and bring them to Dowless, according to investigators.
“And our county, Bladen County, has been tainted by this process,” said Britt, who said he had not spoken to Dowless about the indictments.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman took over the criminal investigation a little over a year ago after the Bladen County DA referred the case to her.
She said the charges filed this week pertain to crimes committed during the 2016 general election and last year’s primary. She’s still investigating what happened during last November’s election and plans to bring that evidence to a grand jury in the coming months.
Dowless is due back in court next month.
The grand jury indicted four other people accused of working with Dowless: Caitlyn Croom, Matthew Monroe Mathis, Tonia Gordon and Rebecca Thompson.
Angie Grube, a spokesperson for the State Bureau of Investigation, says the agency has been unable to contact any of those four people.