Former Anchorage GOP Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux faces four new felony counts of voter misconduct, state prosecutors announced Thursday.
LeDoux’s former legislative aide, Lisa Simpson, also faces two new felony charges, which could increase the pressure on her to cooperate with authorities in their efforts to convict her former boss.
LeDoux was initially charged last year with just one felony count and a number of misdemeanors related to her 2018 re-election campaign.
Related: Alaska Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux charged with voter misconduct
The case fell idle for the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and only recently began moving forward again.
Both LeDoux and Simpson have hired top-notch defense attorneys.
LeDoux’s lawyer, Kevin Fitzgerald, declined to comment on the new charges Thursday, though LeDoux told Alaska’s News Source that she was “absolutely innocent.”
Simpson’s attorney, Rex Butler, said he thinks that prosecutors’ ultimate goal is convicting LeDoux, and that they’re “roping in” Simpson to help.
“It’s all about their efforts to get Gabrielle,” Butler said.
Both LeDoux and Simpson pleaded not guilty at an initial hearing Thursday, according to a prepared statement from state prosecutors.
LeDoux was a longtime Republican legislator who faced a fierce backlash from party leaders after she accepted a leadership position in the House’s mostly-Democratic majority. She lost her Republican primary last year.
The charges against LeDoux came after state elections officials notified the Alaska State Troopers of what they described as irregularities with absentee ballot applications during her 2018 re-election campaign. The FBI also participated in the investigation.
Simpson’s son Caden is also being charged with voter misconduct. He’s represented by a public defender, according to a state courts database.
Correction: This story initially reported that LeDoux pleaded guilty at an initial hearing. She pleaded not guilty.