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Melton Response to Democratic Executive...

Melton Response to Democratic Executive Committee Complaint

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 5, 2005

Melton Response to Democratic Executive Committee Complaint

JACKSON: In a regularly scheduled Democratic Municipal Election meeting tonight, allegations were brought up concerning the residency of Jackson mayoral candidate Frank Melton. Sarah O’Reilly-Evans, co-chair and legal council of the Melton campaign, attended the meeting. “The law specifically states that there is a ten-day period of time following the qualifying of a candidate in which challenges can be made. The candidate must receive a two-day notice of a hearing in order to respond.” O’Reilly-Evans stated that the notice was never made, and that the candidate never received a copy of the complaint.”

The issue stems around the fact the Melton applied for homestead exemption on a home he owns in Texas. Jim Rice and Lavery Jones filed the complaint with the Democratic committee, and asked for the committee to reconsider Melton’s qualifications.

“I spoke with the attorney general’s office prior to the meeting and was told that there is a reason for the quick turnaround for such a protest,” said O’Reilly-Evans. “I was also told that homestead exemption is not the exclusive determiner of qualifying to run.” Melton served as director of a state agency (Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics) and now serves on a state board, both of which require state residency.

A committee member questioned whether Melton’s response the night they were certifying candidates a few weeks ago as to whether he paid homestead exemption. “I cannot respond to what Mr. Melton said at that hearing, because I wasn’t there,” said O’Reilly-Evans.

The committee voted to table the complaint and will request an attorney general’s decision.

“As the campaign enters its final month, this is just a last-ditch effort by the Johnson camp. This is a frivolous complaint to try to take away from the real issues of the campaign.”

Melton for Mayor Campaign

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