RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has upheld a $1 million civil verdict against a political consultant responsible for an illegal robocall in the 2010 Maryland governor’s race.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond decided Julius Henson’s case Monday.

Henson and his company, Universal Elections Inc., sent an automated phone message on behalf of Republican candidate Robert Ehrlich to more than 112,000 Democratic voters in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, which have large black populations. It sought to suppress turnout in the closing hours of election day by telling listeners to “relax” because Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley had already won.

The state sued because the message did not identify the party that initiated the call, as required by the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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