The Cherokee County Board of Elections held off on making a decision regarding the eligibility of County Commissioner-elect Brian Poole.
The board deferred action until its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Monday at the Albert Stone Elections building in downtown Canton. All five board members did not make any comments, but Chairman Randy Gravely said the board will issue an "official" opinion during the meeting.
Poole has been accused by eight residents – Chris Hampton, Scott Ault, Teisha Ault, Jamey Cagle, Connie Miller, Bryan Roach, Eric Love and Linda Flory – for not paying state and local sales taxes in the state of Alabama. Poole allegedly owes $38,599.09 in sales taxes in the neighboring state.
Hampton was Poole's Republican challenger in the July 31 primary.
Poole's attorney Charles Robertson said he and his client had "no reaction" to the board's decision.
"However, we kinda expected today either a yes or no,” he said. "It works to Mr. Poole’s disadvantage if they decide next week if he is disqualified. If they decide that we can’t possibly get an appeal field in superior court to overturn that before the election is over."
The residents are being represented by Canton attorney Jeff Rusbridge, who sent a letter earlier this month to Cherokee County Elections Supervisor Janet Munda requesting the board to review the mater.
Along with the letter, Rusbridge also sent several documents that appear to be certificates of liens against Poole from the Alabama Department of Revenue, which were filed between 2009 and 2011, and copies of a voluntary bankruptcy filing Poole made in 2010.
Mr. Poole himself, in sworn statements submitted with his Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in the Middle District of Alabama, Case No. 10-11227, admitted owing $29,855 in unpaid state and local sales and withholding taxes to the State of Alabama,” the letter reads.
The board in a called meeting last week voted unanimously to move forward to schedule a formal hearing.
The Towne Lake resident is set to take office on Jan. 1. Poole has no Democratic opposition in the Nov. 6 general election. Both Poole and Hampton sought the seat after incumbent County Commissioner Karen Bosch opted not to seek re-election.