Getting a GED will be one of the requirements for a man who accepted a plea arrangement Thursday for forging signatures to run for the Shelbyville city council.
Jimmy Neal Anderton, 44, of Highland Court, received a deferred judgement after pleading guilty to the Class E felony -- false entries on official registration of election documents, a crime that carried a one- to six-year sentence.
Instead, Anderton will serve 18 months on probation, will be required to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test, and if he stays out of trouble during that time period, his record will be expunged.
Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell said that this was the first time he could remember anyone standing before him on the charge, warning Anderton that the quickest way he could blow the deal for no jail time is to have a positive drug screening, as he warns every defendant placed on probation.
If he violates his probation, Anderton would have to serve at least 30 percent of an 18-month jail sentence, and the felony would go on his record.
Anderton was barred from seeking the city council position after Bedford County election officials discovered he had allegedly forged 14 of the 25 signatures on his qualifying petition.
He was hoping to run in Ward 1 against incumbent Jo Ann Holland and challenger Henry Feldhaus, who won the election last November.