ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee recused himself from any action related to the lingering question over the at-large Dougherty County School System School Board race Monday, saying he had supported Democratic primary winner Lane Price's candidacy.
The Dougherty County Elections Board is expected to rule Wednesday whether Lorenzo Heard met state qualification requirements to challenge Price as an independent candidate after Price beat incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in the July 31 Democratic Primary.
Lee said both Price and Heard notified him that they'd secured legal representation: Heard from Albany attorney Maurice King and Price from Americus attorney Jimmy Skipper.
"I am recusing myself for a couple of reasons," Lee told the Dougherty County Commission Monday morning. "First, my wife and I contributed to Lane Price's campaign -- we even put one of her signs in our yard -- so there are the political implications.
"Flip that coin over, and Mr. Clinton Johnson, who is in the audience today, is the person who delivered the notice of election to the Elections Board on behalf of Rev. Heard and Mr. (Terrance) Wilson (who is seeking to challenge embattled school board member Velvet Riggins). Since, as county attorney, I will also represent Mr. Johnson as a county commissioner, that presents another possible conflict."
Lee said he has contacted Ed Collier, who serves as county attorney for Terrell and Calhoun counties, to sit in on his behalf during any Elections Board meetings.
"I want to make it clear that I don't care what The Squawkbox or anyone else in the community says about any so-called 'Gang of Four'; I did not support Lane Price because I'm out to get (School Board Chairman) James Bush," Lee said. "He's an old friend of mine. I supported Mrs. Price because she and her husband are friends of mine as well."
Commissioner Jack Stone praised Lee's action.
"Regardless of the outcome (of the Elections Board's ruling), you're doing the right thing," Stone said. "This is an issue that has to be handled right down the line, no B.S., so that it doesn't come back to bite any of us."