CONCORD (CN) – A federal judge has acquitted former Republican National Committee official James Tobin of telephone harassment charges for his alleged role in a 2002 phone-jamming scheme against New Hampshire Democrats.
Tobin was convicted in 2005 on two counts of phone harassment for jamming the phone lines of six telephone numbers: five for Democratic Party phones and one for the Manchester firefighters’ union, which had offered free rides to the polls.
For 85 minutes, those get-out-the-vote lines rang continuously with repeated hang-up calls. Republican John Sununu defeated incumbent Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate in that election.
The 1st Circuit vacated Tobin’s conviction, saying it was unclear whether tying up a phone line indicates Tobin’s “intent to harass.”
U.S. District Judge Stephen McAuliffe ruled that, because of the appeals court decision, he is “constrained to conclude that Tobin is entitled to judgment of acquittal.”