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Former Perry judge-executive is placed on probation

Former Perry County Judge-Executive Sherman Neace has been placed on probation in a federal vote-fraud case.

Neace will be on probation for three years, with six months of that time in home detention, according to court documents.

Neace pleaded guilty last year to mail fraud. He admitted he mailed false election reports to cover the fact that he had diverted $7,500 from state Democratic Party officials and used it to buy votes in November 2008.

The state party sent the money to the local party for use in boosting voter turnout.

Chester Jones, a former Perry County circuit clerk and head of the local Democratic Party, also has pleaded guilty in the case. He has not been sentenced.

Neace served three terms as judge-executive before losing re-election in 1998. In 2000, he was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for selling used cars to the county at inflated prices while he was judge-executive.