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Darien board member pleads guilty in flier flap

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ANN MARIE AMES
June 17, 2009
— A Darien Village Board member Tuesday morning pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to identify the sponsor of a campaign flier.

Debi Olmstead, 185 Andrea Ave., Darien, accepted a plea deal from the Walworth County District Attorney's Office. She will pay a $100 fine and court costs, according to online court records.


Olmstead distributed the fliers prior to the heated February primary. In April, she was elected to her first public office.


The district attorney's office filed a charge on April 4, just days before the general election.


The Gazette was unable to reach Olmstead for comment.


Edward Kaufenberg, 209 Washington St., Darien, complained to the Darien Police Department about Olmstead's fliers. The fliers did not identify the payment source, according to court documents.


Kaufenberg is the husband of Cheryl Kaufenberg, who also was elected to the board in April.


According to court documents, Olmstead told Darien police officer Chuck Lankford of the Darien Police Department she had passed out 100 fliers in February.


She said she was not aware at the time of the law that requires the fliers to state who paid for them. She said it would never happen again, according to court documents.


Olmstead told the Gazette she learned about the rules for fliers, posters and banners in early March when she and others worked on their campaigns for the general election.


The charge against Olmstead was not criminal. The maximum fine was $500.



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