A former staffer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has been charged with attempting to steal the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in a scheme to frame the official in some sort of illegal activity.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety wrote in a release that Zachary Edwards, 29, of Des Moines was arrested on Friday for identity theft. Edwards worked as Obama’s Iowa new media director in 2008, according to news reports.
Authorities said the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office alerted them to Edwards’ alleged activity after discovering it in June. Edwards faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
The criminal complaint shows that authorities obtained emails in their case against Edwards.
The Iowa Republican reported that Edwards started working for Obama as an intern for his campaign in Nevada in 2007. He later coordinated new media operations in five primary states.
After the campaign, he joined the group Link Strategies, whose clients include Democratic Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. The Des Moines Register reported that Jeff Link, the president of Link Strategies, fired Edwards after learning of his arrest.
Employees of Link Strategies have been accused of using dirty campaign tactics before, according to the Iowa Republican. In 2002, they were accused of being involved in the secret taping of a private strategy session of Harkin’s Republican opponent’s campaign.