Arrest Made in Beach City Election Fraud Investigation

Arrest Made in Beach City Election Fraud Investigation
Kyle Diamond

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne announced on January 18, 2024, that an arrest has been made in connection with an election fraud investigation that commenced in late October of 2023.

Task Force Unveils Election Fraud Scheme

The investigation was initiated following a report from County Clerk Heather Hawthorne, who raised suspicions of tampering with the City Council election for Beach City. Multiple complainants believed a candidate in the City Council election to be involved.

Last year, Chambers County established an election integrity task force, comprised of District Attorney Cheryl Lieck Henry, County Attorney Ashley Cain Land, County Clerk Heather Hawthorne, and Sheriff Brian Hawthorne. The task force reviewed information from complainants, directing detectives in a criminal investigation that eventually identified the suspect reported by the original complainants.

Deceptive Document Sparks Investigation

During the investigation, residents of Beach City came forward, reporting that someone had placed what seemed to be a falsified official election document in their US Postal mailboxes. The document aimed to dissuade residents from voting on election day by falsely claiming the election had been canceled. Detectives traced this document, initially emailed to registered voters, through homeowner security videos and other information, leading them to the identified suspect.

An evidentiary search warrant confirmed the suspect’s possession of emails and other electronic evidence, as well as campaign signs belonging to his opponents. Subsequently, an arrest warrant was granted for Kyle Diamond of Beach City on the charge of election fraud.

Diamond, a former City Council candidate who had previously worked at the Texas State Capitol and for an Austin-based political consulting firm, faces charges under Election Code 276.013(a)(5) for knowingly or intentionally providing false information to voters with the intent of preventing them from voting in an eligible election.

Heather Hawthorne, Chambers County Clerk, emphasized her responsibility to ensure safe and secure elections, stating, “Whether it’s a local election or national election, election integrity is the basis of our democracy.”

County Attorney Ashley Cain Land expressed pride in the work done by detectives and the Elections Integrity Task Force, vowing to prosecute election-related crimes to the fullest extent to uphold election integrity in Chambers County.

District Attorney Cheryl Lieck Henry stressed the importance of election integrity to democracy, advocating for stricter penalties for such offenses, stating, “It is because of people like Kyle Diamond that myself and others will go back to Austin urging this type of crime and others like it to be a felony offense.”