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Commissioner questions elections issue

Commissioner Jack Stone

Commissioner Jack Stone

ALBANY, Ga. — Dougherty County Commissioner Jack Stone questioned Monday the use of county employees to count signatures in the ongoing quest to determine the legality of the Rev. Lorenzo Heard’s bid to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot in the Dougherty County School Board race.

During a discussion period at the end of the commission’s Monday business session, Stone asked County Attorney Spencer Lee to address the issue.

  • “From what I’ve heard about that matter, (Heard) has not paid the fees (required to qualify as an independent candidate) and yet we’ve got six or seven people working — probably some of them working overtime — to count those signatures,” Stone said. “If he’s not qualified because he has not paid his fees, all I see is taxpayer money being thrown away.”

Lee told Stone the county’s Board of Elections had to consider all issues associated with Heard’s bid to take on Democratic primary winner Lane Price for the at-large school board seat, but Stone was obviously not satisfied with that answer.

  • “We’re paying good people to do work at taxpayers’ expense,” Stone said. “All I see in this case are county-paid employees working on an issue that — if he hasn’t paid his fees — is null and void. That’s like throwing money away.”

Lee told Stone the primary concern of the Elections Board is to avoid a possible lawsuit.

“The ideal thing would be to handle all issues (associated with Heard’s possible candidacy) at one time,” the county attorney said. “We wouldn’t want this issue to go to court at a later date. There are factual issues that may present themselves at a later date.”

Stone replied: “So, you’re saying I’m hearing only part of the story. I’ll accept that.”

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

I hope there are some handwriting experts on the DoCo payroll. Are they checking to see that 500 of the "signatures" were not written by the same person?

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Gabrielblows 2 years ago

Would someone please report the "rest of this story" as the late Paul Harvey would say.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

It doesn't seem like the news people really want to ask tough questions on these elections issues. Like how many signatures did Terrance Wilson turn in that were NOT certified? He needed 400 and under 100 were certifiied. How many total "signatures" were turned in but not certified? Was there any attempted fraud suspected?

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waltspecht 2 years ago

This is another example of a need for Tort reform. Too many times, the fear of the cost of winning a lawsuit has allowed an unjust act to prevail. There needs to be a loser pays option, that binds the individual's Lawyer to 50% of the costs on a lost action. Then there would be a lot more scrutiney as to what comes to trial and what doesn't. Filing suit in the hopes of getting a settlement to avoid trial costs is one of the oldest ongoing stunts being pulled by Lawyers. It's time their hand was called.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years ago

I have to agree with Stone on this issue. If Heard didn't pay the qualifying fee then it is NULL & VOID. The State Ethics are plain and simple, people.

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bigbob 2 years ago

Thank you Mr.Stone for trying to help the taxpayers. As usual you got some stupid response & the question was not awnsered. Don't worry the taxpayers are only getting screwed out of a few thousand dollars this time, no big thing in Albany. You know you would not want a black preacher upset.

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

Ginger Nickerson shows no ability to manage the elections office. If she can't handle the stress of making a call on a spoiled application and a passed deadline for payment we are in for a long expensive haul with her. As for Spencer Lee's suggestion that there are things unknown that's manure ! We knew that 15minutes after the story broke. So tell us! We are the bosses, the taxpayers. Put the story on the the street! What a bunch of bumpkins running our democratic government. Press the issue Commissioners! Kudos to Stone for even mentioning it.

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VSU 2 years ago

Lane Price had to pay a qualifying fee to run, maybe she should file a lawsuit to get her fee money back. Is Heard above the law that he doesn't have to pay the qualifying fee? In my opinion he is unqualified for the position even if he did pay the fees.

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agirl_25 2 years ago

Apparently he thinks he is....and I totally agree with you that he is unqualified for the position he is running for. As a matter of fact, why does anyone running for a position on a board have to have someone else do all the work for him? Would he, if, by the small chance he was actually elected to a board, send someone to the meetings for him, to take notes and tell him what went on? It seems odd to me the man doesn't do things for himself but has things done for him by inept lackeys. If this is any indication of how it would be were he an elected member of the board.....lordy...I shudder at the thought.

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