Ivey Hines and Melissa Strother
ALBANY The Albany City Commission is poised to swear-in Ivey Hines as the new Ward II commissioner tonight despite an ongoing and active legal challenge to the race that was filed in Dougherty County Superior Court Friday.
Hines was declared the winner of the Nov. 8 race by a narrow margin after all votes cast for candidate Cheryl Calhoun were tossed after she was declared ineligible as a candidate. Calhoun was disqualified under Georgia law when it was determined that she lives in Ward I. Calhoun maintains that she originally intended to qualify for the Ward I race but was told by election officials that she lived in Ward II, which was later proven to be incorrect.
The Ward II seat was vacated by Dorothy Hubbard after she qualified to run for mayor. The unexpired term, which is up in 2013, is by law required to be filled immediately following the race while the winners of the other municipal races won't be sworn in until January.
Candidate Melissa Strother filed a legal challenge to the election in Dougherty Superior Court Friday citing irregularities stemming from Calhoun's disqualification that rippled through the election process and call into question the results of the race.
Strother is seeking a court-order blocking the Albany City Commission from swearing-in Hines before her challenge can be heard in court. But that order, which will be decided upon by Dawson judge Joe Bishop, has not yet been issued.