Irish Republican News · October 31, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Electoral officer charged with fraud

A former chief executive of the Ulster Unionist Party is to appear in court charged with theft and false accounting at an electoral office.

Alastair Patterson, a former deputy electoral officer, was one of two former Electoral Office employees who were questioned in July this year by police investigating allegations of forgery, false accounting and corruption.

The investigation centred on activities in the Fermanagh/Tyrone area between 1996 and 2001.

Mr Patterson, who lives near Dungannon, was yesterday charged with theft and false accounting and will face a total of 30 counts when he appears in court next month.

``A 58-year-old Tyrone man has been charged with 30 offences arising out of a police investigation into alleged irregularities within the Electoral Office in the west of the province,'' a police spokesman said.

``He has been charged with 17 counts of theft and 13 of false accounting.''

Mr Patterson is expected to appear at Omagh Magistrates court on Tuesday November 11.

  • Mr Patterson was the deputy returning officer who begrudgingly announced the election of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands as MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in 1981.
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