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"It's very difficult to run a campaign and keep an eye on your rear end"

Mobile County [Alabama] Commissioner Freeman Jockisch illegally took more than $19,000 from his campaign fund and used it for personal gain, according to an updated indictment returned against him Friday by a special federal grand jury.

The document adds eight counts of mail fraud to the 16 mail fraud counts and four counts of filing false tax returns that Jockisch already faced in federal court, charges that accuse the commissioner of hiding and failing to pay federal taxes on more than $93,000 of income.

The latest allegations stem from the same paperwork issues that led a Mobile County Circuit Court grand jury to indict Jockisch last month on a single state charge of illegally using campaign funds. That indictment did not divulge how much money state investigators believe Jockisch took or how he did it. ...

"If they've done nothing else, they've certainly interfered with his opportunity to be re-elected," said Jockisch's lawyer, Billy Kimbrough. "It's very difficult to run a campaign and keep an eye on your rear end all at the same time."

Jockisch, a three-term Republican, is seeking re-election. He is set for trial on the federal charges in May, days before the June 1 primary, in which he will face at least two opponents. -- Federal grand jury adds charges against Jockisch (Mobile Register)