Former Chief Gets Eight Months For Buying Votes

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 at 11:12



Former Red Pheasant First Nation chief Charles Meechance is going to jail for eight months for voter fraud.


Meechance received that sentence yesterday in North Battleford Provincial Court, from Judge David Kaiser.


Meechance pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000.


He was elected chief in the 2005 election, but an appeal was launched.


It was said that on Meechance’s behalf, Bert Benson gave money to people for voting for Meechance and a slate of candidates.


Money was given out in North Battleford, Saskatoon and as far as Loon Lake.


Defence lawyer Aaron Friedman asked for a 15-month conditional sentence.


Crown prosecutor Mitch Piche said that essentially, that would have allowed Meechance back in the community.


Piche asked for a six- to nine-month sentence.


He says the main thing was to send Meechance to jail, to send a message that voter fraud won’t be tolerated.


Piche was pleased with Judge Kaiser’s decision.


“That it (the sentence) was jail to me was what was important, and eight months seemed to be the right amount,” he says.


Benson received a 15-month conditional sentence this past summer.