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Sioux Falls Activist Pleads Not Guilty to Robo-call Charges

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MADISON, S.D. (AP) – A Sioux Falls Republican political activist has pleaded not guilty to orchestrating a robo-call campaign during election season that criticized GOP legislative leaders but lacked the necessary identifying disclaimers.

State prosecutors allege that 31-year-old Daniel Willard violated four counts of a state election law governing the production of campaign ads and communications in the run-up to an election.

Attorney R. Shawn Tornow entered the plea Thursday morning in Madison.

Tornow says there was no violation and Willard is confident he’ll be exonerated. The attorney says state law is unclear on what constitutes a communication and what is required.

The misdemeanor charges carry maximum penalties of a year behind bars and a $2,000 fine.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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