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Head of Oneida County Independence Party pleads guilty

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The head of the Oneida County Independence Party is out, after admitting ten crimes, including felonies.

John Dote admitted stealing roughly $60,000 from the party, using it for personal needs, including grocery shopping and paying his own utility bills.

Dote's trial on 27 crimes was supposed to begin Wednesday morning in Oneida County Court. Instead, an 11th hour plea to ten crimes, including grand larceny, money laundering and perjury.

In exchange for his plea, Dote will spend six months in the Oneida County Jail, then five years on probation. Prosecutors say that if Dote was found guilty at trial, he might have served a longer, state prison sentence, but that there'd be nothing to keep him from re-entering politics.

"A condition of his sentence is that he has no involvement in politics of any kind," said Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Robert Bauer. "He's not to be an officer in a party, he's not to advise, consult, work with elected officials in any capacity whatsoever."

Dote's perjury charge pertains to a family court matter where he gave false information regarding his true income.

Dote is due back in Oneida County Court for sentencing December 12.

Officials with the State Board of Elections have not yet returned phone calls regarding the future of the party in Oneida County.

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