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Criminal charges dropped in campaign ad case

A former Roanoke councilman hit with a civil fine for election law violations will not face parallel criminal charges.

A judge dismissed two misdemeanors against Brian Wishneff at the request of both defense attorney John Lichtenstein and special prosecutor John Alexander, reports The Roanoke Times.

The charges stemmed from a newspaper ad that attacked a city council candidate in last year’s municipal election. The ad claimed it was paid for by Wishneff’s alias, “Joe Smith”. Wishneff’s failure to report the cost of the ad led to the criminal case against him.

The prosecution, however, decided that the $3,700 civil penalty issued by the state board of elections was punishment enough.

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