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Gore pleads guilty following political run
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A man who had dreams of becoming a state lawmaker became a felon instead when his house of cards came tumbling down after he wrote hot checks for campaign signs and then tried stealing from his former boss.
The former candidate, Kristopher Gore, 26, entered guilty pleas to charges of passing worthless checks, attempting to pass worthless checks, forgery and identity theft. He was given a total of five years on probation and must make $875 restitution. He will also be required to perform 40 hours public service work.
Gore has asked he be allowed a judicial diversion. That means, if it is granted, he can move to have his criminal record erased once his probation is over. Judge Bart Stanley has a conflict with one of the witnesses pertaining to the judicial diversion so he recused himself during the sentencing hearing Wednesday. A new judge will be picked to decide if Gore qualifies for a judicial diversion.
Gore was seeking the Democratic nomination for the office of 43rd District State Representative, a race eventually won by current state Rep. Kevin Dunlap.
Gore passed worthless checks to Custom Vinyl Signs for campaign signs. Just prior to passing the worthless checks, Gore had claimed to have collected $51,000 in campaign contributions. It has never been revealed if he actually collected that much money or if he lied on his campaign finance report submitted to the state to intimidate his political rivals.
Gore not only wrote hot checks for campaign signs but also made a contribution to Meals on Wheels which also turned out to be a worthless check. He would later write a hot check to Collins River BBQ for a fundraising dinner.
Along with his hot check spree, prosecutors say Gore tried to rip off his former employer, state Rep. Mark Windle. Investigators say Gore used stolen information taken for Windle to try to get credit to purchase a truck at Edd Rogers – the place where Gore worked at the time. His attempt at identity theft was thwarted by the special crimes unit of Homeland Security.