RICHMOND, Va. – The executive director of Virginia's Republican Party was indicted Tuesday on charges of illegally intercepting telephone conference calls involving Gov. Mark Warner and other Democrats.
Edmund A. Matricardi III, 33, was charged with two counts of illegal wire interception and two counts of attempting to use the contents. He was released without bail. He could get up to 12 years in prison.
The telephone calls involved a discussion among Warner, top legislative Democrats, their aides and attorneys of a court fight over redistricting.
Investigators would not say how Matricardi obtained the telephone number and access code needed to listen in. Authorities also would not say how Matricardi intended to use the contents.
Matricardi and his lawyer, Steven Benjamin, had no comment as they entered the courthouse Tuesday. Benjamin asked that the charges be dropped, contending that listening in on a phone conversation is not illegal. A hearing on the request was set for April 19.
The indictment, handed up by a Circuit Court grand jury, alleges Matricardi intercepted one call on March 22 and another on March 25.
In the calls, the Democrats discussed the appeal of a ruling last month striking down the 2001 redistricting plan for the state legislature as racially gerrymandered.