Former council member sentenced for voting outside his precinct
Young pleaded guilty to the two felonies in June. As part of the plea agreement, theft, perjury and official misconduct charges were dismissed.
Young's plea was officially accepted at his sentencing hearing on Monday.
Young, his girlfriend and county officials spoke at his hearing.
Young apologized for his actions and said he deeply regretted any problems or injuries he caused.
The co-chair of the Pulaski County Election Board read a statement to the court. They stated they were satisfied with the fact Young resigned from the council and removed his name from the November election, but worried the effect it could have on voters in the current political climate.
"Given the local and national climate with voting and mistrust with the process we wanted to be certain that people understood we are doing our best as an election board to make sure these things are being done correctly and efficiently," said Jessye Gilley, a member of the Pulaski County Election Board.
Pulaski County Clerk JoLynn Behny said she has been accused of knowingly accepting falsified documents, but the clerk and its staff must accept filings as received. She also worried the effect the case would have on voters in the current political climate.
As part of the plea agreement, Young was not sentenced to any jail time.
"We did hope for no jail time as we felt that was a little too harsh for the issue that had been committed but we did want to stress during this time that there was an impact to the voters as a whole," Gilley said.
Special prosecutor John Meyers said Young's family situation was a mitigating factor in determining a sentence without jail time.
"His significant other has a very serious disease and has helped her. Is indispensable. Our sentencing law recognizes that as a mitigating factor that has to be taken into account. I was interested to see in a manner in which he balanced those interests. I thought Judge Forker did an excellent job," Meyers said.
Judge Forker sentenced Young to three years in prison with all three years suspended to be served on probation. He will serve the first 90 days on home detention.
He will also be barred from holding elected office while on probation.
Officials launched an investigation in July of 2021 after they received multiple complaints over several years about Councilman Young’s residency.
Through investigations they determined Young was using his parents address in the northern part of the county to vote and run in the district he was elected in, and that his primary residence, 9 and a half miles away, was actually in the county’s first council district.