An East Hills man accused in the ACORN voter registration fraud probe pleaded guilty Tuesday to reduced charges in exchange for his cooperation in any state or federal investigation of his former employer.
Eric L. Jones, 20, pleaded guilty to four of 93 charges filed in May by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. As part of the deal, Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski sentenced Jones to two years of probation.
Defense attorney Scott Coffey told the judge Jones accepted responsibility for his actions, “but he was basically a foot soldier, and it was his supervisors who were really responsible. He has cooperated and will cooperate in the future.”
Jones was one of seven people charged in the local investigation of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. He is the first to be convicted, albeit on reduced charges of forgery, falsification and interference.
Zappala spokesman Mike Manko said in an e-mail that further investigation was on hold pending the results of a federal lawsuit in which ACORN challenged the law that bars the use of a quota system in voter registration drives.