0

Heard hearing drags into third day

Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson confers with Elections Board attorney Ed Collier Tuesday during the second day of Lorenzo Heard’s suit against the Board.

Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson confers with Elections Board attorney Ed Collier Tuesday during the second day of Lorenzo Heard’s suit against the Board.

ALBANY, Ga. — Lorenzo Heard's attorneys, Maurice King and Henry Williams, shifted gears in Heard's suit against the Dougherty Board of Elections on Tuesday, but they are running out of time.

Heard is suing the board in an attempt to get his name on the Nov. 6 ballot to run as an independent candidate in the Dougherty School Board at-large race against Democrat Lane Price.

But Elections official confirmed Tuesday that more than 800 absentee ballots (without Heard's name) have already been mailed out.

King and Williams called to the witness stand all six Elections office workers who inspected the 3,258 signatures on petitions collected by Heard.

The office eventually validated just 1,897 signatures, falling far short of the number required to get on the ballot.

The required number, however, depends on whom you believe. The Heard camp says just 2,311 signatures are required, while the county says 2,632 are needed.

Williams attempted to influence Superior Court Judge J. Richard Porter to get some of the rejected signatures validated by questioning if the staff was qualified and trained enough to make disqualification decisions on the questionable signatures.

Of special interest to Williams are 262 signatures disallowed because the petition signatures did not match the signatures on registration card files.

Williams then focused on the Elections office and supervisor Ginger Nickerson.

"Our Elections office is a mess; the tail is wagging the dog in Dougherty County," Williams said. "We have mass confusion in that office with nobody in charge. Doubt reigns, and that doubt should be resolved in favor of Rev. Heard.

"Either way we look at it, there is enough confusion that only the court can resolve this issue now. In this county, elections officials are affecting the outcome of elections and this has to change."

Earlier board attorney Ed Collier made a motion for dismissal of the case, citing the Nov. 8 election numbers requirement of 2,632 signatures, or 5 percent of the county's more than 52,000 registered voters in the Nov. 2008 general election.

"Trust me when I say the county was very generous in issuing 1,897 verified signatures out of the 3,258 they turned in," Collier said. "Even when the Elections office bent over backwards for them, they still couldn't reach the required threshold. Any way you cut it, the numbers just aren't there.

Porter denied Collier's motion.

"I need to look at all the facts, and some of the facts are very inconsistent," Porter said in his ruling.

Collier then called Clinton Porter, who delivered Heard's Notice of Candidacy to the elections office on Aug. 3.

"Rev. Heard emailed me the signed document, and I signed over it as his agent, had it notarized and took it to the Elections office," Johnson testified. "I was looking at it with one of the office workers (Sharon Armbrust), and Ms. Nickerson walked by and asked it it was an original document. I said 'yes,' but she just shook her head.

"The worker gave me the document back and I left."

When asked what he did with the document, Johnson answered, "I destroyed it."

When Collier asked why he destroyed it, Johnson testified, "I was frustrated. When denied, the document was worthless, trash. She (Nickerson) made it nothing."

Nickerson, later contacted by local and state Democratic party officials, was assured by both the document was an original. She then called Johnson to ask him to return to the elections office with the document but was told it had been destroyed.

"I feel like she misled me," Johnson said.

Recalled to the stand by Collier, Nickerson defended herself.

"I never laid eyes on the document," Nickerson testified. "When he was in the office, I said it needs to be an original document. But I never saw a Notice of Candidacy on Aug. 3."

Closing arguments are set for this morning. Since the hearing is a bench trial, Porter said to not expect his ruling today.


ORIGINAL STORY:

ALBANY, Ga.: Judge Richard Porter has denied a motion from Board of Elections Attorney Ed Collier seeking to dismiss an appeal by Rev. Lorenzo Heard -- an appeal, that if successful, could land Heard on the November ballot for a school board seat.

Heard's appeal has now resumed and District 3 Dougherty County Commissioner-elect Clinton Johnson, who works for Heard, is now on the witness stand.

Previous updates are below.

---------------------------------------------------

Election board seeks to dismiss Heard's appeal to be on the ballot

The attorney representing the Dougherty County Elections Board moved to have Rev. Lorenzo Heard's appeal of a decision by the board to keep him off the ballot, dismissed.

Ed Collier has asked the judge hearing the case to dismiss Heard's appeal. Heard is attempting to be put on the ballot as an independent candidate for the at-large School Board seat.

Previous story version below.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elections workers called to testify in Heard appeal

A worker with the Dougherty County Board of Elections was called to the stand to testify Tuesday morning as a trial to determine if Rev. Lorenzo Heard is qualified to seek the at-large school board seat resumed.

Cathy Crowdis, the wife of Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis and a worker in the board of elections office is being questioned by Heard's attorney Henry Williams about how elections officials decided which signatures on petitions offered by Heard were approved or disqualified.

Heard is contending that he should be allowed to be on the ballot in November as independent candidate to run against Lane Price, the Democrat who beat incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in the July Primary.

Heard has met the requirements to be a write-in candidate, should his bid to qualify as an independent fail.

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 12 months ago

Ginger Nickerson and the entire staff and election board should be dismissed summarily. The office is run so haphazardly it is comical. I helped my new neighbor change registration to vote and we were both exhausted after trying to find out which district he is in. My wife had a heck of a time getting an absentee ballot for the summer primary and the document to request a ballot did not include an address to mail it to. I have no doubt Heard failed to properly qualify but I will say one thing, Nickerson has an uphill fight to prove her case. After the Veleeta Riggins case I don't trust anybody in the City or County governments to know reality.

Nickerson's office has blown other elections before. She's so good at thwarting popular sovereignty I'm surprised the Florida Republicans haven't hired her.

1

VSU 1 year, 12 months ago

For someone to say that Heard is wanting in the race because he cares about the children is about as truthful as saying all republicans are voting for Obama.

4

mr_nobody 1 year, 12 months ago

I'm wondering why Dr. Price's picture is on the article. She has no dog in this fight. She played by the rules, filled out her paperwork correctly, paid the proper fees, and won the election.

1

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 12 months ago

She is "Heard's opponent" as Mr. Heard said in the paper a couple of weeks ago.

0

jglass 1 year, 12 months ago

mr_nobody, I was wondering the same thing. She did everything right and won. Now, they are saying that the election board office has not been run right for years and they are pulling the same tactics that were pulled in the Riggins trial, blaming the employees for all of the errors. GOODNESS!!!!! I honestly believe if Dr. Price had not won the election, this would not be going on. Mr. Heard would not even be interested in the seat in this election.

3

VSU 1 year, 12 months ago

You know it....In fact everybody in Albany knows it, including Heard.

2

martha43 1 year, 12 months ago

Most of these black preachers are wannabe's and are in it for the free stuff that they can get. I worked for one on Moultre Rd, for a couple of days. He had some many people running around there doing things for him,except taking the fork and putting the food in his mouth.

2

goldie 1 year, 12 months ago

Learn how to use correct grammer first, before you judge others.

0

sogladileft 1 year, 12 months ago

Mr. Johnson, who is a commissioner-elect also works for Mr. Heard. He was the person who left with the paperwork and did not turn it in and should be held solely responsible for this entire debacle. When do people take responsibility for their actions, in the case of either of the men named above? Do they not believe others might see a conflict of interest issue as well. Only in Agony, The Thug Life city. SO GLAD I LEFT!

1

chinaberry25 1 year, 12 months ago

He ought to withdraw anyway. With Riggins back on board, they do not need Heard anymore, they still have their cronies.

2

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

THEY'RE BUILDING SOME CUSHION.

0

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

LET'S SEE, YOU HAVE GINGER NICKERSON, DR. MURFREE, JUDGE WEAVER, VELVET RIGGINS, DON BUIE, MR. HEARD, JUNEBUG, THE APD CORPORAL. ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR, NONE QUALIFIED . IS THIS THE BEST ALBANY HAS? THESE IDIOTS PROBABLY COULD NOT FIND EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE OF ALBANY.

3

goldie 1 year, 12 months ago

First of all, Mr. heard has done a lot for the community, but you only looking at color. Stop looking at the color of a person skin and look at what they have contributed to the community. Go to the neighborhoods, talk to the senior citizens, talk with the children that come from low income homes that need help with homework, talk with the people who need housing, but do not qualify for the big down payments. Yeah, start there. what have you contributed to your community?

0

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

YOUR REPLY TO MY POST INFERS THAT BY THE NAMES I LISTED AND THE FACT THAT THEY ARE ALL BLACK, YOU BELIEVE I'AM LOOKING AT COLOR WHICH IS NOT THE CASE. EVERYONE OF THEM HAS BEEN A DETRIMENT TO THE CITY AND COUNTY IN SOME SUBSTANTIAL WAY OR FORM. I DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER THEM QUALIFIED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BLACK RACE. MR. HEARD, REGARDLESS OF WHAT EVER HE HAS DONE IS A PERSON OF LOW MORAL CHARACTER AND HAS ENRICHED HIMSELF WHILE PREACHING TO THE POOR PEOPLE LIKE EVERY OTHER POVERTY PIMP. SHOULD I ALSO TALK TO THE WOMEN HE COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH ALSO?

0

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

YOU MEAN HEARD HAD BEEN DOING THE COMMUNITY.

0

waltspecht 1 year, 12 months ago

Excuse me while I reatch, because I think I know where this is headed.

1

43cop 1 year, 12 months ago

Martha43, he was nothing but a user anyway and all he ever did was use people to better his pocketbook. Now Heard thinks he can take over where this one left off, so all I can say is GET OUT AND VOTE for Dr. Price.

2

FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

VSU 1 year, 12 months ago

This judge must be a member of the Albany good ole boy club.

1

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

I'LL SAY AGAIN, THIS IS A TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE OF AFRO-SOCIOECOMOMICS (CIRCULAR LOGIC) AS WELL AS BEING A DAY LATE AND A NUMBER OF SIGNATURES SHORT.

1

bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 12 months ago

I hope Heard wins his appeal just so we can see who will win between him and Lame Price......

0

tywebb 1 year, 12 months ago

slick, he's already been ok'd to be a write-in candidate. he doesn't have to win this, he can be voted for. You will be able to see Dr. Price beat him down, like she did awb, without him winning this waste of time trial.

1

mnavie1111 1 year, 12 months ago

I hear u bubba. If these simpleton are upset over this. I know they hate everyday they wake up knowing we a black president. Well keep hating cuz just like heards gonna win Obama will be in office 4 more years. Hey just face it's about time blacks stood together and stop selling out. Hell if they have so much love for the kids in DCSS y don't they send there kids there.

0

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

I HOPE YOU WON'T BE UPSET IF P&G OR THE MCLB PULLS OUT IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. BLACKS WILL BE STANDING TOGETHER IN THE FOOD STAMP LINE. HEARD HAS HIS AND THESE WORKING FOOLS WILL BE S.O.L. PERHAPS YA'LL CAN GET WITH HEARD AND HE CAN INTERCEDE WITH GOD FOR YOU OR YOU CAN HAVE ONE OF HIS BABIES. OR YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET A JOB IN ONE OF THE MANY BLACK BUSINESSES HERE IN ALBANY. BTW: LEARN HOW TO SPELL, YOU MAKE BLACK FOLK APPEAR DUMB AS A BOX OF ROCKS. DCSS GRAD?

2

Somebody 1 year, 12 months ago

You are a perfect example of the intellect of the Obama voting base. Obama wins because dumb uneducated people like you outnumber the smarter people. It's called dumbing down a nation.

2

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

WILLIAMS DIDN'T STAND WITH NICKERSON. HE HAS IN ESSENCE CALLED NICKERSON UNQUALIFIED TO RUN THE OFFICE: " WE HAVE MASS CONFUSION IN THAT OFFICE WITH NO ONE IN CHARGE" ONLY A BRAINLESS MORON COULD SCREW IT UP THAT BAD. JOHNSON SAYS HE WAS MISLEAD BY NICKERSON. ALL BECAUSE SHE WOULD NOT CHEAT FOR THEM OR BREAK THE RULES. HEARD IS DOWN WITH IT.

0

Outtahere 1 year, 12 months ago

Mnavie - You're grammar and punctuation is atrocious! You should consider that before you submit another post!

1

Jax 1 year, 12 months ago

"You are grammar"? How about "your''?

0

tywebb 1 year, 12 months ago

ouch, outtahere, while I agree ms. naive needs to work on her grammar....you pointing her mistakes out with mistakes of your own is....well......a mistake!

1

tywebb 1 year, 12 months ago

ms. naive, kool-aid drinker.....you really think MOST people don't like obumma cuz he's black (only half)? Some, sure, but MOST people don't like him because of his socialist policies, lack of economical knowledge, lack of foreign affairs knowledge, his KING mentality, etc. If Biden were Pres, we'd hate him too! And what do you mean "it's about time blacks stood together"? What percentage of blacks voted for obumma in 2008? 99%? Maybe, if more blacks listened to the "sell outs", the country and albany, would be in better shape! vote for ideas, NOT skin color. damn you dumb

3

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

THE ELECTIONS OFFICE IS A MESS YOU SAY MR. WILLIAMS? THE SUPERVISOR IS BLACK!!! ARE YOU IMPLYING SHE IS UNQUALIFIED OR TOO STUPID TO RUN THE OFFICE? FLASHBACK: BUIE, WEAVER, MURFREE, JUNEBUG, RIGGINS, ALL 3RD RATE PLAYERS.

2

Outtahere 1 year, 12 months ago

I have been saying this for a long time now. MOST OF THE CITY STAFF is unqualified or incompetent! I have called the court house before and the girl that answered the phone was rude and unprofessional!! Incompetent supervisors hire incompetent subordinates!

1

bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 12 months ago

Stop the lies. It has nothing to do with race. If its a mess, its a mess. Its been a mess ever since Pritchett was a sheriff.

1

VSU 1 year, 12 months ago

You've been a mess ever since your mother spit you out.

1

fatdaddygamer 1 year, 12 months ago

THIS HAS EVERY THING TO DO WITH RACE. THE ONLY REASON HEARD IS TRYING TO RUN FOR THE DCSC IS BECAUSE THE BLACK LADY LOST. WHY DO YOU THINK HE DECIDED TO RUN AFTER THE ELECTIONS? IT'S BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THE WHITE LADY WOULD LOSE.

0

RedRaider 1 year, 12 months ago

Nickerson, later contacted by local and state Democratic party officials, was assured by both the document was an original. She then called Johnson to ask him to return to the elections office with the document but was told it had been destroyed.

Why on earth was Nickerson contacted by local and state Democratic party officials? Lane Price is the duly - elected Democratic party candidate - elected in the Democratic primary on July 31.

Are these Democratic party officials betraying their own candidate? Does the fact that these "officials" are African American have anything to do with their promoting and assisting a so called "Independent" candidate running against their own party's candidate?

Whatever their reason, (apparently racially motivated) I think the immediate resignation or firing of these state and local "Democratic party" officials should be demanded. These "officials" were identified in court and their names will appear in the trial transcript.

2

mr_nobody 1 year, 12 months ago

Wait, I thought Heard was running as an independent? This doesn't make sense... Oh yeah, that's right. Dr. Price doesn't fit the demographics. It does appear that the Democratic Party is betraying their own candidate.

1

jglass 1 year, 12 months ago

Ok, so how can an emailed copy printed be an original copy? Heard's signature could not have been original if Johnson signed abouve his name once he prinited the form. I think the attornies, Heard, and Johnson are trying to use the same tactics that were used in the Riggins trial. It was not original, he took the form back and shred it. The qualified signatures are not adding up, so that is strike two. You don't even need to mention the fee if it was not paid because the application was not an original. This is going to turn into a long drawn out mess. They are blaming everyone but themselves for their mess ups!!!

2

mr_nobody 1 year, 12 months ago

Stupid me... I always thought an original was the actual paper that the ink bled into. I'm glad I'm learning so much from our Albany government.

2

jglass 1 year, 12 months ago

RedRaider, I agree with you........my question is how did they know it was original if Johnson shred it? There are just too many crazy tales being told!!!!!

2

Oldguy 1 year, 12 months ago

If Mr. Heard emailed the document to Johnson does he still have the email on his computer. or the original that was copied to his computer? Destroying it was stupid, the main piece of ecidense was destroyed. Does the election board have complete list of registered voters on their computer or only in a card file of some sort? Sounds like everyone involved made misteaks. Why did Mr. Heard wait until the last minute to qualify? Why did he not deliver the document in person? He could have quickly made another application at the elections offive and it would have been the original. Why has the judge required both sides to submit their final arguments by October 19 in writing instead of making a ruling using rules of law? The judge has had ample time to review rules of law concening this case bedor it came before him. Even an old guy like me can find the rules of evidence concerning an Original Document on the internet. In short,what is going on here?

0

bigbob 1 year, 12 months ago

Black in Albany, wait for it, wait for it.

0

Oldguy 1 year, 12 months ago

Bigbob,

You are probably correct. ater all Albany is about 80% black so it is inevitable that the city government is at least 80% black. We all know that racial lines are drawn, even if it is wrong. The problem is that the black community is still upset that hey were slaves 150 year ago and they feel that white people owe them for that. They are taught by their peers, including many black ministers that they should try to take ove to put whitey in his place. It is sad because Albany used to be a growing thriving city. I guess that is why Lee county is growing so fast, people are tired of the constant bickering within the government, property taxes and the difficulties put on business owners in Albany and Dougherty county. Gangs, burgleries, shootings, stabings, rape, armed robbery, break ins are running rampant in the area and can not be controlled. I expect to see the larger businesses and manufacturers move out if this area in the next couple of years. $350,000.00 for welsome signs, $750,000.00 for Arches, millions for an aquarium, $150,000.00 for a study to move the bus station to name just a few. We all pay.

1

mnavie1111 1 year, 12 months ago

To the confederate redneck nation mrkia and tywebb. I know u fear the black race so keep ur weak ass comments to urself.

0

VietVet1 1 year, 12 months ago

ATTENTION HOLLYWOOD - Albany is not making this up - this could become better than Honey Boo Boo

0

FryarTuk 1 year, 12 months ago

It has nothing to do with blacks being the majority in Albany. Nor does it have anything to do with mostly white taxpayers footing the bills in Albany and Dougherty. The real issue is when will someone in the black community with the personal integrity and commitment of say, Lem Edwards or Hebert Phipps step to the plate and lead. Most of the blacks in positions of influence or control are uneducated, unscrupulous and self-centered. The majority of black ministers are leading their flocks toward more ignorance, poverty and self-defeatism. Do you think taxpayers, black, white, pink or purple, are going to continue the freight for welfare or medicaid or corporate fraud. It may not happen in this election cycle as the GOP has shot itself in both feet with R&R. The day of bank and tax reconciliation is coming and its glow can be seen on the horizon. So why aren't the black leaders stepping up and finding the best school administrators and election staff and elected officials. You could do a lot of good now, right now. But you have settled on the likes of Bush, Williams, Riggins, #34, Heard, Johnson, June Bug and the other rogues to educate your children and manage your civic lives. They are a heard of ignorant, greedy selfish rascals who eat your children's lunch and squander their pencil money on the likes of Sabb and Washington. Step up for your children's sake and quit following the drumbeat of the reprobates who wait in line for their BMW money.

0

MRKIA 1 year, 12 months ago

THIS WHAT MNAVIE CALLS STANDING TOGETHER.

1

Sign in to comment