Indiana – A Rising Sun police officer is in custody after being booked on an arrested warrant containing 13 felony charges.
Officer Lowell Ross Colen, 42, is accused of using his official position as a police officer to influence individuals to vote in the 2015 Ohio County primary election.
According to investigators, Officer Colen filled out absentee applications (and ballots), for citizens that were not eligible to vote.
In addition, Officer Colen forged signatures on ballots and absentee applications and turned them into the Ohio County Clerk’s Office. Investigators say that he was wearing his police uniform while committing those felonies. Officer Colen’s charges include official misconduct, ‘ghost employment’, forgery, and voter fraud.
According to the Rising Sun Police Department, Officer Colen began his duties with the Rising Sun Police Department April 18th, 2005. Ross had previously served as a Deputy Sheriff with the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department and is a graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Ross had also served as a reserve officer with the police department and the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department.
Below is the official ISP Press Release:
Ohio County-This afternoon, after a four month long investigation, the Indiana State Police arrested Rising Sun, IN Police Officer Lowell Ross Colen age 42, Rising Sun, at his residence on a warrant containing thirteen felony charges including ghost employment, official misconduct, forgery, and voter fraud.
In June of this year, Indiana State Police Detectives initiated an investigation into Colen after being made aware of possible criminal activity that took place surrounding the 2015 primary election that took place in Ohio County. During the investigation, it was determined that Colen allegedly influenced individuals to vote in the Ohio County primary elections. While doing so, he allegedly filled out absentee applications and ballots for individuals who were not eligible to vote in Ohio County. Colen allegedly forged signatures on some of the applications and ballots and submitted them to the Ohio County Clerk’s Office. It was also determined that Colen was allegedly in a police uniform and on duty in his official capacity as a Rising Sun Police Officer when some of this activity took place.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the case was turned over to the Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office for review. A warrant was issued earlier today in the Ohio County Circuit Court. After the book-in process is completed, Colen will be issued a bond and then given an initial court date to appear in the Ohio County Circuit Court.