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Mother and daughter accused of accessing student accounts to rig homecoming court vote




Laura Rose Carroll, 50, was arrested Monday and sent to Escambia County Jail on $ 8,500 bail. Florida Law Enforcement Department (FDLE) said in a press release. Her 17-year-old daughter was detained and taken to Escambia Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

When he arrived on CNN, a man who identified himself as Carroll’s husband said, “At the moment we have no comment. Our lawyers told us not to talk and we will have the day in court.”

The FDLE said the Escambia County School District contacted him in November 2020 over allegations of unauthorized access to hundreds of student accounts.

The statement says investigators found Carroll, an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, and his daughter, a Tate High student, used Carroll’s district-level access to enter accounts, where they cast hundreds of fraudulent votes for the Taft return court. The votes were marked as fraudulent when 117 votes from the same IP address were allegedly originated in a short period of time. Authorities reported that FDLE officers found evidence of unauthorized access related to Carroll’s cell phone and home computers.

Investigators said they found nearly 250 votes cast fraudulently for the return court.

“Several students reported that Carroll’s daughter described using her mother’s account to cast votes,” the statement said.

The investigation also found that as of August 2019, Carroll’s account allegedly accessed 372 high school records and 339 of these belonged to Tate students, according to the FDLE statement.

Carroll and his daughter were charged with offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices; illegal use of a two-way communications device; criminal use of personally identifiable information; and the conspiracy to commit these crimes, according to the statement. All charges except conspiracy charges appear as third-degree offenses.

CNN’s Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.