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  • Jefferson Weaver

State Reviewing Greene Complaints

State elections officials have yet to make a decision on when or if they will meet regarding two appeals against Jody Greene’s election to sheriff.

The complaints were filed by Calvin Norton and Herman Lewis. Norton’s appeal claims that Greene was not a resident of the county when he was first elected in 2018, and the courts erred when Greene was allowed to be sworn in as sheriff. Lewis’ claim says that since Greene resigned before a removal hearing, he cannot be allowed to hold office since the case never was decided by a court.

The local board denied both appeals and voted to finalize the election. Mack Ward and David McPherson voted against the appeals, while Brenda Ebron cast the sole vote in favor of the complaints. Bonita Blakney and Kay Horne abstained.

Both appeals to the state were filed by the deadline set after the county elections board voted to certify the election Nov. 28.

“The State Board is reviewing the appeals to determine if they should be scheduled for a meeting for consideration,” said Pat Gannon, attorney for the State Board of Elections. “If it goes to a meeting for consideration, the meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible, and we will send out a meeting notice and post it to”

State law says the state board “has broad discretion in its appellate role.

“It may decide the appeal on the existing record, or it may require the county board or an interested party to supplement or add to the evidence. Alternatively, the State Board may conduct its own protest hearing and decide the protest based on that proceeding.

“Finally, it may remand back to the county board with an order.”

Frivlous or imp-roperly filed appeals can be automatically rejected by the SBOE, Gannon said. That decision is made by the executive director of the SBOE.

“If, after three calendar days of the executive director’s administrative denial recommendation, no State Board member interposes an objection, the protest appeal will be denied.”

See here from the protest procedures guide, p. 10:

Greene defeated Democrat challenger Jason Soles, 10,034 to 8,458 in the November election. Weeks before the election, Soles released an audio recording from 2019 that had Greene using racial epithets and demeaning language toward black sheriff’s office employees. District Attorney Jon David asked for an investigation into Greene and the sheriff’s office that resulted in a removal hearing on Oct. 23. Greene resigned as the hearing began, and the charges were dropped. David declared in the courtroom that he would seek new charges against Greene if the sheriff-elect were voted back into office.

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