Friday, March 13, 2015

Jeffersonville Council Candidate Won't Get The Charlie White Treatment

John Perkins
John Perkins
The Clark Co. Election Board ruled correctly when it bounced John Perkins off the ballot for Jeffersonville city council last month. Perkins served as a member of the Clark Co. Board of Commissioners through the end of last year, claiming he resided in a home in Bethlehem in the Third District on which he claimed a homestead exemption. Perkins now claims to be shacking up with Diane Swank in her condominium located in Jeffersonsville's city council District 1 when he filed to run in January. Under Indiana law, Perkins must have resided within the city limits for at least one year prior to this year's November election, and at least six months prior to the election within the district he is seeking election.

Clark Co. Circuit Court Judge Drew Adams, who heard Perkins' appeal of the election board's decision, overturned the election board's decision and concluded the challenge to his residency failed to satisfy the burden of proving Perkins didn't meet the residency requirement. "It is the opinion of this court that the challenger did not meet his burden to dispute the residency of Perkins ... and the Clark County Election Boards [sic] conclusion is contrary to the evidence presented as well as contrary to the specific findings issued by the defendant,” Adams’ order states. "The order also refers to several similar cases in Indiana as precedent for his decision," the Jeffersonville News & Tribune reported.

In order to find in Perkins' favor, the evidence would have to show Perkins served as a county commissioner and drew a salary for that position after he moved out of his home in Bethlehem and into the condominium owned by Swank at least one year prior to the November election. What do you want to bet that Perkins won't be charged with theft or vote fraud for relying upon his Bethlehem residence as his voting residence so he could continue to serve as a county commissioner through the end of last year like former Secretary of State Charlie White was? Perkins, by the way, voted to name Swank as the county's insurance agent of record while he served as a commissioner, although he claims he was not romantically involved with her at the time.

Perkins' attorney, Mickey Weber, agreed with Judge Adams' decision but differed on the rationale for the ruling. Weber asserted that the citizen complaint against Perkins only mentioned he failed to satisfy the 6-month residency requirement for living in District 1, not the city's municipal boundaries. "A person could move to the first district in May and still meet the district requirement," Weber said. The news story doesn't mention if or when Perkins removed the homestead exemption he claimed on his Bethlehem home. State law required him to make application to remove it within 60 days after he stopped claiming it as his primary residence. Perkins claims the home he relied upon for residency while serving on the county commissioners is now just a vacation home.

1 comment:

Sir Hailstone said...

A "vacation" home in Clark County? Bull$**t. Unless he's in one of the maybe 10 houses that back up to the Ohio River in Bethlehem.