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Elections Board: Poole Is Qualified To Take Office

The Cherokee County Board of Elections made the ruling during its meeting on Monday.

UPDATE 12:47 p.m.: see the attached .PDF to read the election board's ruling on Poole.

County Commissioner-elect Brian Poole is qualified to take office. 

That was the ruling the Cherokee County Board of Elections unanimously made late Monday morning, less than 24 hours before Election Day.

The board's ruling ends weeks of speculation as to whether the county would be forced to schedule a special election to fill the District 3 seat. 

Poole, who lives in Towne Lake, was flanked by his attorney Charles Robertson and local supporters and left immediately after the ruling was made.

However, Robertson said he was glad to see the board rule in his client's favor.

"We are obviously pleased with it," he said. "We are not surprised. We thought the law was pretty clear."

Poole was 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. 

Canton attorney Jeff Rusbridge, who represented the residents in their challenge, also said he was not surprised by the board's decision

"Obviously, I will review the board's decision with my clients and we will have to determine whether they desire to move forward with any further action," he added. 

Rusbridge late last month sent a letter to Cherokee County Elections Supervisor Janet Munda, asking 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 two weeks ago voted unanimously to move forward to schedule a formal hearing, but tabled making a decision after the formal hearing.

Poole 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.

Kathy Lunner November 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM
If the Board of Elections can make a decision that is so obviously against the law it is time they were replaced. This guy is not fit to serve on the Board of Commissioners regardless of what his sleezy, discredited lawyer says. I hope someone takes this to a higher level.
NamaKat November 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Thank goodness this is behind us. I feel that this was a non issue from the beginning if you did your homework on it. Time to let the family heal from public smear campaign and get on with your own lives. Let this family live in peace.
Christine Rea November 05, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I couldn't agree more Kathy! So disappointing.
Max Jackson November 05, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Disgraceful! Unconstitutional! Illegal! A huge pile of horse manure! Just when you thought the board of elections was one of the few remaining offices which could not be bullied by the almighty GOP, this happens. Mr. Poole is in violation of election laws. Yes, the same laws the GOP spews forth when talking about "undocumented workers" and "the right to bear arms." Cherokee County has become a laughing stock. We pick and choose which laws we want to obey and to hell with the rest. The elected and appointed officials are a joke.
Max Jackson November 05, 2012 at 06:18 PM
It's not a smear campaign, when you have sworn affidavits from Mr. Poole.
Charles Robertson November 05, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Ms. Lunner, I'm neither sleezy nor discredited but I'll be happy to discuss the matter with you in court if instead of standing on the sidelines throwing rocks, you feel the need to appeal something. <g> Have a great day.
Charles Robertson November 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Respectfully disagree with your assessment. The constitution is pretty clear about steps that separate someone who is trying to do the right thing from someone who isn't, but reasonable minds can disagree. We probably both agree that this should have been more clearly delineated by the campaigns during the elections. I understand both candidates had issues and they could well have been better addressed.
NamaKat November 05, 2012 at 06:35 PM
REally? DO you know that this was not him personally? DId you know that he fought against this? Do you know what his family has been through? Those documents you say he provided, Do YOU know what is in them? Details, FULL? The reason the board voted this way is because there is clear evidence that Mr. Pooole is not held accountable for this debt! Instead of just reading headlines do the homework and you will see for yourself. What is disappointing is the way his own county who voted him in is attacking him. All of this info was out there b4 the campaign. If you researched who you were voting for then you would not be "shocked" about these claims from his appointment. Next time do your research, and things like this won't hit you so hard. I learned at a very young age not to vote on what is in the media, (in my time we still used books to research..:O) ) .Anyway we now have the internet and many connections to public (and Private) information unlike the generations before us. SO let the knowledge lead you to your vote. If you fail to obtain information on an official then don't blame anyone but yourself.
Jennp November 05, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Thank you Cherokee Elections Board for making the correct decision. I applaud you and Brian Poole for standing strong through this nasty political "sour grapes" campaign. Cherokee County deserves good representation for our citizens and I am confident that Brian Poole will be an excellent commissioner for our county.
Shannon November 06, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Soooo is there a plan in place to pay the admitted tax debt back to Alabama? Lots of Cherokee County funds in a County Commissioners hands, hope there's more fiscal responsibility

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