As of Friday, May 10, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Clayton News Daily
ATLANTA Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jeff Turner should know next week whether state elections officials consider him a legal resident of the county he leads.
The State Elections Board is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday at 10 a.m. to deal with an investigation into whether Turner lives in Clayton County or Henry County. The hearing will be held in room 341 of the state Capitol, at 206 Washington St., Atlanta.
The case is one of 56 investigation reports from different cases that Elections Investigator Chris Harvey will present to the elections board during the hearing.
Turner took office in January, but shortly after he began overseeing the county, accusations began to arise that he still lives in Henry County, where he lived when he was chief of the Clayton County Police Department.
Turner has repeatedly asserted he is a Clayton County resident and legally holds office. Bankruptcy, elections and divorce filings, however, leave it unclear as to whether he was lawfully elected. State law requires candidates for commission chairman live in the county for at least a year before their election.
If the board decides Turner doesn’t legally hold office, it would throw the county commission into chaos. Among it’s issues in that scenario, close split decisions made under Turner’s leadership might be called into question and a special election would have to be held to chose a new chairman.
If the results vindicate the chairman, however, his election would not only be validated but he could also use the findings in his defense if groups or individuals continue to call his residency into question.