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Guilty plea expected in vote-buying case

A longtime mayor of Pineville plans to plead guilty in a federal vote-buying case.

The attorney for Robert L. "Bob" Madon filed a motion Friday seeking a hearing for Madon to enter the plea.

Madon, who is in his 70s, is accused of conspiring to buy votes in the November 2006 election, when he ran for mayor.

Madon's son Brent, 45, was charged with him. He pleaded guilty and was expected to testify against his father.

Bob Madon put up the money, and his son used it to buy votes at a price of $10 to $20 apiece, according to the son's plea agreement.

The indictment said voters also received drugs to vote for Madon.

Madon beat incumbent Bruce Hendrickson with a suspiciously large edge in absentee votes — 250 to 55, according to a court document.

The indictment against Madon says he faces up to 30 years in prison, but his sentence will probably be much less under federal advisory guidelines.

The guideline range for his son, for instance, is 24 to 30 months, according to a court document.

Madon resigned as mayor in November, after being indicted.

He was first elected mayor in 1977, the year of a devastating flood in Pineville, and he is credited with helping win more than $50 million in federal funding for a floodwall to protect the city.

However, he was later convicted of improperly spending city money. A judge suspended his sentence, and Gov. Wallace Wilkinson restored his right to hold office.

Madon served a total of 18 years as mayor between the late 1970s and last fall.

No date has been set for Madon to plead guilty.