New­ton res­i­dent sued by Cony­ers

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - MICHELLE KIM The News

New­ton County res­i­dent Olivia Ware has filed a for­mal law­suit against the city of Cony­ers, which in turn filed a law­suit againt Ware for “abu­sive lit­i­ga­tion” af­ter she at­tempted to run for mayor.

The city elec­tions su­per­vi­sor de­cided Wed­nes­day to dis­qual­ify Ware af­ter an ad­min­is­tra­tive hear­ing re­viewed ev­i­dence that Ware was not a reg­is­tered voter in the city and was a res­i­dent of New­ton County within the past year.

Ware had filed a civil law­suit against the city in Rock­dale County Su­pe­rior Court, ac­cus­ing the city of fail­ing to no­tify her of the ad­min­is­tra­tive hear­ing and ask­ing the court for a jury trial and to award her com­pen­satory dam­ages for emo­tional dis­tress and at­tor­ney’s fees. On court doc­u­ments, Ware wrote “the City of Cony­ers didn’t fol­low the Gen­eral Mu­nic­i­pal Elec­tion law (sic) fail to serve Can­di­date No­tice to at­tend the Voter Regis­tra­tion

El­i­gi­bil­ity Hear­ing to Run for the Of­fice of Mayor of the City of Cony­ers.”

The city claimed that Ware’s law­suit was “abu­sive lit­i­ga­tion,” ac­cord­ing to a let­ter city at­tor­ney Michael Wal­drop mailed to Ware’s three pos­si­ble res­i­dences.

At­tor­ney Car­rie Bootcheck said a hear­ing con­cern­ing the mat­ter is set for Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. with Rock­dale County Su­pe­rior Court Judge Robert Mum­ford.

May­oral can­di­dates are re­quired to be reg­is­tered vot­ers in the city and to have been res­i­dents of the city of Cony­ers for at least one year as of the elec­tion date, which, in this case, is Nov. 5, 2013.

Ware did not at­tend a hear­ing held Sept. 20 con­cern­ing her case, de­spite be­ing sent cer­ti­fied no­ti­fi­ca­tions and voice mails and an at­tempt to hand de­liver the no­tice.

City Elec­tions Su­per­vi­sor Pat Smith then wrote a let­ter to Ware stat­ing that it was de­ter­mined that she will not have been a res­i­dent of the city of Cony­ers for a pe­riod of one year or longer as of Novem­ber 5, 2013.

Ware voted in New­ton County in Fe­bru­ary 2008, Novem­ber 2008, Novem­ber 2010, July 2012 and Novem­ber 2012. Ware’s New­ton County voter regis­tra­tion iden­ti­fied a Mt. Zion Road ad­dress. Di­vorce pa­pers in New­ton County courts also iden­ti­fied Ware as a res­i­dent at the Mt. Zion Road ad­dress. Ware also re­ceived home­stead tax ex­emp­tion on prop­erty taxes for the Mt. Zion Road ad­dress and was po­si­tioned to re­ceive the home­stead prop­erty tax ex­emp­tion again for 2013 at that ad­dress. When Ware did trans­fer her voter regis­tra­tion ad­dress from New­ton County to Rock­dale County Aug. 16, 2013, it was to a Coal Shovel Trail ad­dress, which is in un­in­cor­po­rated Rock­dale County, not the city of Cony­ers.

Ware sub­mit­ted a Peaks Land­ing ad­dress on her can­di­dacy pa­per­work, which also con­tained the state­ment “I un­der­stand that any false state­ment know­ingly made by me in this No­tice of Can­di­dacy and Af­fi­davit will sub­ject me to crim­i­nal penal­ties as pro­vided by law.”

Wal­drop pointed out that the pa­per­work Ware had filed in New­ton County, with DDS, with Rock­dale County, and with the city of Cony­ers with dif­fer­ent res­i­den­tial ad­dresses were all sworn af­fi­davits “that are in con­flict with each other, all of which can’t be true.”

False swear­ing can carry a felony charge in Ge­or­gia, he said, if the Dis­trict At­tor­ney chose to pros­e­cute.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.