Daniel/Hulett responds to Lovell’s order relating to May 23rd election

Published 3:18 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

In response to a court order by Lowndes County Circuit Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell that the May 23 Hayneville Municipal Election to fill a vacant council seat was “illegal and void” and that the Hayneville Town Council meet on Monday, July 10th, Hayneville Mayor David Daniel and Lowndes County Probate Judge John E. Hulett held a press conference at town hall Monday.

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Daniel said the people deserved to have the person they elected. And Hulett challenged Lovell’s authority regarding municipal elections and said there would be no meeting of the Hayneville Town Council on Monday, July 10.

Also on July 10th, Hulett issued a court order that Lovell has no jurisdiction in election matters unless an election contest has been filed.

His order stated that no election contest has been filed in this case and that all orders issued by the circuit judge (Lovell) are null and void.

At the press conference, Daniel said, “I would like to take this opportunity to address several issues that are facing the town of Hayneville. In regard to the special election held on May 23, 2017, I did not set the date or order the election. The election was set by Probate Judge John E. Hulett, not the mayor of Hayneville.”

He said, “In regards to council meetings, several meetings were scheduled and attempts to contact the members of the council were made, but they would not answer their phone or return the phone calls, nor would they show up for the meetings.”

Daniel said, “Lastly, on May 23, 2017, the citizens of Hayneville elected Carole Scrushy to fill the vacant seat in District A. She deserves the opportunity to represent them. It is my strong believe that the people deserve to have the person they voted for.”

Hulett said at the press conference in reference to the May 23rd election in Hayneville, “I was given orders from the Governor’s Office to City Elections to fil a vacancy that was left in the council seat in District A. I went by the laws of the Code of Alabama. I set this election. The election was held and candidate Carole Scrushy won the election. And now we come with something saying that we need to do something else.”

Hulett said since 1965 Lowndes County has not had justice in the court system. He said 52 years ago the man who killed Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian who responded to Martin Luther King’s call to support the Civil Rights Movement, was found not guilty.

He said, “It’s time for us to do something about our court system. “Terri Lovell, a circuit judge, has ordered that the council meet. She has no authority to have anything to do with the city election or the county election. The only thing she can do is ask that the election be certified.”

Hulett said, “For her to step over her boundaries and to come in and go over the governor’s wishes then she’s got to be stepping out of bounds.”

He said, “If she wants to be the probate judge, she needs to run for probate judge, then she can handle elections. Other than that, she has no jurisdiction in this matter.”

He said one candidate who was not qualified to run is still on the council. He said a person has to live in the District for 90 days before he could run for council. He said one candidate was only in the district for one day. He said that needs to be answered, “Not what is going on here today.”

Hulett said, “There will be no council meeting in the town of Hayneville tonight. The next council meeting will be set by the mayor. And when this is done, if anything happens then there are going to be some repercussions behind it.”

Hulett said, “There were no problem with the election. What happened… you’ve got sore losers.” And, he said, “sore loser laws” were passed to keep these things from happening. He said, “Maybe we need to go to federal court to get it done. There is no justice in Lowndes County.”

Among others in attendance at the press conference were County Commissioners Robert Harris and Joshua Simmons, former Hayneville Mayor Helenor Bell, Jerome McQueen, Police Chief Kelvin Lawrence, Council member Kim Payton and attorney Ashley Smith.