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Attorney: Man behind Stacey Campfield robocalls had no malice

6:01 PM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR-Knoxville) The owner of a Knoxville-based political consulting firm is behind robocalls asking voters their opinion of State Senator Stacey Campfield.

Cyragon owner Ben Farmer is responsible for the calls, according to his attorney G. Turner Howard, III.

Last month, people complained about getting the calls over and over.  

The calls said, in part, "Hello, this is citizen's opinion research and we are conducting a quick, one minute survey about State Senator Stacey Campfield. Please indicate your Response to the question by pressing the corresponding number on your phone."

Cyragon does conduct telephone surveys.   Howard told 10News on Tuesday the calls were part of a "no opinion" poll Farmer's company had never tried before and "no malice was intended."

Howard says after Farmer learned the survey kept recalling voters he "immediately" stopped it. 

Howard and Farmer met with the TBI at length last Wednesday about the calls. After that meeting, he says the TBI turned over the information to the Knox County District Attorney General's office.

Earlier this month, the D.A. asked the TBI to open an investigation. The TBI said its case is still open, but wouldn't go into further detail.

Howard says his client is quote "somewhat" connected to Campfield's opponent, Dr. Richard Briggs. He says Farmer would do nothing to hurt Briggs, and that Briggs did not "put him up to it."

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