Talk show host under investigation for hoax

Published: Jun. 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM CDT
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By Eric Sollman - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Investigators with the Department of Justice aren't laughing at a radio talk show host's prank.

Dale Jackson of WVNN in Huntsville drafted a fake news release online before Tuesday's election, saying that Republicans were supposed to vote Tuesday and Democrats would vote on Wednesday. However, Jackson could now face felony charges.

State Attorney General Troy King and the ADOJ are now investigating the hoax. Joke or not, Secretary of State Beth Chapman said it's a legal issue any time votes may be suppressed.

All the talk is centered around the release posted to WVNN's website. The heading states it's from the Secretary of Electoral Elections, the Honorable Marion S. Barber.

The body of the release says a coin flip took place at Huntsville City Hall at 5 a.m. on Tuesday and Paul Sanford won the ability to have his voters go to the polls on Tuesday. Laura Hall's voters were told they should go to the polls on Wednesday.

Now removed from WVNN's website, the Great Seal of Alabama topped the original copy.

"People tend to take that more seriously, and using that in an unauthorized way is never a good thing," Chapman said. "But in this case it could have easily misled people."

Jackson talked with WAFF on Tuesday about the controversy. He said, "Nobody with any common sense is going to take any of that seriously. It was a joke."

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