State Attorney Cervone – Christopher Chestnut agrees to relinquish his Alachua County voter registration
From: William Cervone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020, 03:10:48 PM EDT
Subject: RE: Florida Department of State Elections Fraud Referral Letter
Over the last several weeks I have had multiple conversations with the attorney representing Chestnut regarding the legal basis for this case and possible resolutions. To make a long story short the law is not as clear regarding this area as I’d like or you’d think although Chestnut’s situation is more egregious than some other similar cases we’ve had over the years. Nonetheless, there is no bright line rule and courts, including locally, have ruled that a person’s subjective intent as to residence can control when the person claims intent to be a resident in one place even while “temporarily” living or working somewhere else. In order to solve the basic problem and stop Chestnut from voting here, because he is, despite his many ethical lapses, without any significant criminal history, and to avoid prolonged litigation that would result in little more of value to us than this I have reached an agreement with his lawyer that Chestnut would relinquish his Alachua County voter registration, in exchange for which I would close our file. Both of those things have now been done, his part on June 22nd and my closure of our file being processed now. This is consistent with how we have resolved similar cases in past years, which is not controlling but which is a consideration.
I fully appreciate and understand that you will neither agree with nor approve in any way of this resolution of the matter. To that I can only say that especially at this time when the courts and my office are essentially closed and facing many financial and personnel issues that impact wheat we can effectively handle it makes no sense to me to do more than solve the problem and prevent future irregularities with Chestnut’s voting. As I said earlier, other than a possible fine I cannot imagine any different or more favorable result even if a prosecution were successful to the point of a sentencing hearing occurring. That such a prosecution would be successful to begin with is debatable.
If you have any specific questions I’d be glad to try to answer them. Chestnut will not be voting here in the August primary or thereafter unless he resumes actual residence in Alachua County.
Chris Chestnut-12.27.19 Election Fraud Complaint 19-33 Referral Letter
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:44 AM
To: William Cervone
Subject: Re: Florida Department of State Elections Fraud Referral Letter
We are now 5 months downstream since the attached DOS referral arrived at your office and the subsequent investigation.
It is of course more important to get an investigation right as opposed to fast.
However, there are limits to the integrity of a criminal investigation over time.
Early voting for the August, 2020 Primary starts in less than 40 days.
Please consider this in prioritizing a determination on whether to file charges, or not.
On Thursday, February 6, 2020, 02:32:31 PM EST, William Cervone <email@example.com> wrote:
Despite the date on the letter it did not arrive at my office until January 23, 2020. Upon my review of everything that was sent to us, which includes everything you attached, I instructed my Chief Investigator to initiate an investigation following up on that material. I am not at liberty to say anything regarding the progress of that at this point.
Sent: Thursday, February 6, 2020 10:37 AM
To: William Cervone
Subject: Florida Department of State Elections Fraud Referral Letter
Mr. Cervone – the attached elections fraud complaint referral from the FL DOS warranting further investigation by your office was sent in late December.
Has a determination been made by your office on whether to investigate and if so, what is the status of that investigation?