Former GOP official appears in federal court

Posted Nov. 05, 2008, at 3:40 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:16 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Republican official accused of taking part in a plot to jam Democratic phone lines in New Hampshire on Election Day 2002 has been released on personal recognizance while awaiting a trial on new charges in Maine.

James Tobin of Bangor pleaded not guilty during an initial appearance and arraignment in federal court in Portland on two counts of making false statements to an FBI agent.

Tobin, who is 48, was accused of helping to arrange more than 800 hang-up calls that jammed get-out-the-vote phone lines set up by the New Hampshire Democratic Party and a local firefighters’ union six years ago.

His earlier conviction on telephone harassment charges in New Hampshire was overturned, but prosecutors are appealing. The federal charges in Maine stem from statements he made to an FBI agent investigating the phone-jamming incident.

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