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Hamilton Co. poll worker released from prison

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Melowese Richardson appears before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman. File photo Melowese Richardson appears before Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman. File photo
Melowese Richardson. Provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Melowese Richardson. Provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A long-time Hamilton County poll worker has been released from state prison, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Tuesday.

Melowese Richardson, 59, previously plead no contest to four counts of illegal voting on May 28 in front of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman. He sentenced her to five years in prison on July 17.

Ruehlman granted Richardson's motion to withdraw plea. Prosecutors didn't object. She then re-entered her no contest plea to the original charges. Ruehlman again convicted her.  He re-sentenced her to five years of community control and court costs. 

"In the interest of justice, it is time for her to go home," Deters said.

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center said Tuesday that at the time of the original sentence, Richardson did not want her mental health status disclosed.

David Singleton, an attorney and the center's executive director, was appointed to appeal Richardson's case. The center said Richardson's records revealed that she suffers from bipolar disorder.

Singleton went to Deters and shared the records of Richardson's condition, its history and its effect on her behavior at the time of her crime. The center said "Deters was instrumental in getting Ms. Richardson released."

"Justice was done in this case today,"Singleton said. "We are grateful to Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters for stepping up to ask the judge to release Melowese in light of the new information. We are thankful to Judge Ruehlman for revisiting his sentence and placing Ms. Richardson on probation."

Richardson served as a poll worker in Hamilton County for at least 14 years. She was admitted on July 26 to the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

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