State Attorney candidate Christopher Crowley arrested for violating election laws

State Attorney candidate Christopher Crowley was arrested Monday on two felony charges of violating election laws and operating an illegal lottery.

Crowley has paid his bail, and has left the jail, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 13.

According to Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, Crowley turned himself in at the Lee County jail after a warrant was issued.

In June, current State Attorney Steven Russell asked FDLE to investigate Crowley, who is running to replace him.

At the time, Crowley said it all boiled down to politics.

The 10th Circuit in Bartow, who filed the case, confirmed Crowley has already entered a pre-trial diversion contract, meaning he admits guilt. The case won’t go to trial if he complies with the conditions of the contract.

The 10th Circuit added, signing the contract does not prevent Crowley from running for office, and assuming he complies, he will not be a convicted felon.

Both charges are third-degree felonies with a maximum sentence of 5 years.

The charges stem from a video taken at a fundraising event in question, you can hear Crowley ask organizers what they planned for the event.

A 50/50 and other raffles raised $670. Crowley says he never deposited it into his campaign account because he wasn’t sure he could.

He showed WINK News an email showing he reached out to the state elections office to ask if that was legal, and he was told no.

He told us in June that he returned it to the woman who organized the event and the activities.

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WINK News reporter Kelsey Kushner was live outside the Lee County jail with report findings. Watch the full segment below:

Reporter:Kelsey Kushner
Oliver Redsten
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