published Thursday, June 30th, 2011

State to probe Murray County election

DALTON, Ga. — Georgia state investigators will examine Murray County’s special election for sole commissioner after receiving a complaint.

Matt Carrothers, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, confirmed Wednesday that the state has launched an investigation into last week’s election.

Carrothers said he did not know if the complaint was oral or written. He declined to give any information about the nature of the complaint, citing the ongoing investigation.

Logging businessman Bruce Reed and former Eton mayor Greg Hogan were the two top vote-getters in the June 21 election. With 15 candidates in the race, neither man received the necessary 50 percent plus one vote to win. A runoff election is set for July 19.

The person elected will replace former commissioner David Ridley, who resigned in March after a county employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. The employee has now sued Ridley and Murray County.

In a written statement, Murray County Board of Elections Chairwoman Connie Y. Winkler said the county had provided all the documents requested by the state in the election investigation.

Carrothers declined to comment on what information and documents the state is gathering.

“I can’t discuss the process of investigations in general,” he said. “They will conduct a very thorough investigation.”

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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