Investigators: Former Candidate Staged Crash To Aid Campaign
Prosecutors Say Dodds Hoped To Raise Publicity By Faking Disappearance
POSTED: 11:53 am EST November 26, 2007
UPDATED: 12:54 pm EST November 26, 2007
DOVER, N.H. -- A congressional candidate staged a car crash, fabricated his disappearance and altered his appearance to gain publicity for his 2006 campaign, prosecutors alleged in court documents.
Investigators said that Gary Dodds faked an accident and disappearance in April 2006 because he believed that the publicity would increase the visibility of his primary campaign for the U.S. House.
In the court documents released Monday, investigators said Dodds took out two mortgages on his property without his wife's knowledge so he could fund his ailing campaign.
The Dodds campaign also received letters from the Federal Election Commission indicating that the FEC was considering an audit into discrepancies in campaign finance reports, investigators said.
Dodds was missing for 24 hours in 2006 after a car accident on the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover and found with frostbite after a large-scale search.
Dodds has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and causing an unnecessary search.
When the misdemeanor charges were announced in April 2007, Dodds' attorney said that Dodds' injuries matched his story of being in a serious crash.
"Somebody has been watching too much 'CSI: Miami' or reading too much Tom Clancy as far as I'm concerned," attorney J.P. Nadeau said. "This man had a documented concussion, situational amnesia, severe frostbite and nerve damage."
Neither Nadeau nor Dodds could immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Dodds was running for the Democratic nomination to face U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley at the time of the crash.