Pineville mayor pleads not guilty to vote buying

Pineville Mayor Robert L. Madon and his son have pleaded not guilty to federal charges that they conspired to buy votes with money and drugs.

Madon, 73, and Brent Madon, 44, entered their pleas in U.S. District Court in London on Wednesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier allowed the two to remain free on unsecured bonds. Brent Madon has to submit to drug tests if asked to do so, but that is not a condition of Robert Madon's release, according to court documents.

The father and son are scheduled for trial Oct. 14, though an attorney for one has asked for a later date.

Madon was first elected mayor of Pineville in 1977 and has served about 18 years as mayor at various times since.

He and his son allegedly schemed to buy votes for Madon in the November 2006 election, which he won, by giving voters cash and drugs.

The maximum potential sentence on the charges would be 30 years, though under advisory guidelines the two would probably get much less time in prison if convicted.