They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
Colin Small, a 23-year-old from Phoenixville, Pa., is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 5, Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson told TPM. Small has been charged him with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications and one count of obstruction of justice.
While Small listed himself as a "Grassroots Field Director" for the Republican National Committee on his LinkedIn profile, spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC that Small was never directly employed by the RNC and will be "told to take that down." The RNC was financing the Virginia voter registration drive as well as drives in seven other swing states, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Spicer told TPM the RNC has "zero tolerance" for voter fraud.
"As was the case with the staffer for the DNC who was fired last week for alleged voter fraud, this individual was terminated immediately," Spicer said, referring to a DNC employee fired after being captured in a James O'Keefe video offering help to a woman who claimed to want to vote in two states.
A staffing agency called Pinpoint was paying Small for his work on behalf of the Republican Party of Virginia. Republican Party of Virginia chair Pat Mullins issued a statement to WWBT in Richmond that Small was fired after the allegations were brought to the party's attention.
Small was originally hired by Pinpoint to work for Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm run by an Arizona-based Republican political consultant named Nathan Sproul. The RNC fired Strategic Allied Consulting in late September after Florida investigators began looking into potentially fraudulent voter registration forms in the state.
David Leibowitz, a spokesman for Sproul, downplayed the connection in an interview with TPM and said company officials hoped Small was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"When this person was hired by Strategic, he was trained on how to do the job," Leibowitz said. "He was educated on how to obey the law. If he followed the training, if he followed the education he was provided, he wouldn't have gotten arrested."
Leibowitz said it was unfair to blame Sproul or his company for Small's conduct.
"Let's say that I'm working at McDonald's, I'm a manager at McDonald's. I hire employees, I'm the manager of McDonald's, I get fired. A few days later, or three weeks later when I no longer manage the McDonald's, one of the employees goes out and robs the cash register. Am I connected to the employee who robbed the cash register? I mean I guess, circumstantially there's some small connection, but you can't hold me accountable for his conduct. That's ridiculous," Leibowitz said.
Small, who did not respond to a message TPM left on his cell phone, was arrested on Thursday as the result of an investigation launched by the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.
On Monday, a manager of a retail store in Harrisonburg, Va. allegedly spotted a man throwing a bag containing eight completed voter registration forms into a dumpster before driving off in a black car with Pennsylvania licenses plates. The manager, Rob Johnson, spotted the same car the next day outside of the GOP's Harrisonburg Victory Office, located down the street.