PENSACOLA, Fla – Emily Grover, the back-to-high school queen from Florida accused of rigging her school’s election, pleaded not guilty in court this week to the four counts she faces.
Grover, who was 17 when he was arrested and has turned 18 since, is on trial as an adult. She was scheduled to appear in Escambia County Court Friday. His attorney, however, filed a waiver earlier this week and entered Grover’s not guilty plea.
Grover and her mother, Laura Carroll, vice-principal of Bellview Elementary School, were arrested in March after authorities said the duo used Carroll’s special access to the district’s student data system to vote for hundreds of fraudulent votes for Grover in the Tate High Return Queen election. School.
In October 2020, the Escambia County School District election software application reported hundreds of votes in the return election as fraudulent, leading the district to contact the Law Enforcement Department. from Florida. At around the same time, the district student council coordinator was informed that Grover allegedly commented on using his mother’s FOCUS account to vote, according to arrest warrants.
May 4:Florida student accused of rigging Queen’s vote to return home could face 16-year sentence
March 16:Florida Deputy Director and daughter arrested in Queen’s vote scandal
The investigation ultimately revealed that Carroll’s “district-level access” to the FOCUS system allowed her and Grover to vote 246 on two devices for Grover as Coming Home Queen.
The investigation also revealed that Grover allegedly openly used his mother’s FOCUS account to access the profiles of other students, which contain information such as grades, medical records and test results. Law enforcement officials took nine statements from students and a teacher who said they heard Grover talk about accessing the account or watching her log in for four years.
Grover was ultimately kicked out of Tate High School, according to her arrest warrant. Carroll was suspended from her post after her arrest. School officials declined to say whether they had since fired Carroll.
Grover is billed an account of each of the following:
- Offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices (third degree crime)
- Illegal use of a two-way communication device (third degree crime)
- Criminal use of personally identifiable information (third degree crime)
- Conspiracy to commit these offenses (first degree offense)
His mother, Laura Carroll, pleaded not guilty in early April to the same four counts.
The affairs of the two women will now go through a discovery phase in which their lawyer, Randall Etheridge, will learn what evidence the state has against them.
After that, Etheridge will schedule the depositions of all of the state’s witnesses, and then Carroll and Etheridge will decide whether to make a plea deal or go to a jury trial.
Follow Annie Blanks on Twitter: @AnniePNJ. Contributor: The Associated Press.