Report: Investigators raid Ehrlich consultant's home in election-night robocalls probe
State investigators gathered evidence Friday morning at the Baltimore home of political consultant Julius Henson as part of an ongoing probe of election-night robocalls, WBAL television in Baltimore is reporting.
Henson, who has taken responsibility for the anonymous calls, was paid more than $111,000 by the losing campaign of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). In the calls, made while the polls were still open, a woman's voice told listeners they could "relax" because Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) had already been successful.
The Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, which has jurisdiction over election-law violations, has been looking into the episode for several weeks, according to people who have been contacted by the office.
WBAL is reporting that agents took boxes of evidence from Henson's home Friday morning.
Henson, who usually works for Democrats, has said the calls were "counter-intuitive" and meant to motivate Ehrlich supporters to go to the polls.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) has filed a separate civil complaint against Henson, alleging that the calls were intended to suppress Democratic turnout and violated federal law.
Gansler says that Henson and an associate with his company, Universal Elections, placed more than 112,000 calls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act -- each of which carries a potential penalty of $500. Gansler said the violations were knowing and willful, and he has asked the U.S District Court for the District of Maryland to triple the damages.
Ehrlich has said little about the controversy, recently telling a newspaper that the calls were "done outside of my purview."
| December 17, 2010; 1:51 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections, John Wagner
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