Both sides rest in sheriff’s contest race

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 18, 2007

VIDALIA — Closing arguments in the Glenn Lipsey contest hearing Saturday morning came down to a debate over residency.

And the judge’s opinion on the matter Monday will determine whether there is another election or not.

Judge Sharon Marchman heard lengthy closing arguments from attorneys representing both Lipsey and Sheriff Randy Maxwell.

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Marchman said she will render her verdict before noon on Monday in the hotly contested case of the Concordia Parish sheriff’s race.

Lipsey’s attorney, wanting the first election thrown out, spoke for nearly a full hour listing reasons on why the original election was invalid.

“It’s not just a numerical problem,” said Brady King, Lipsey’s attorney.

King said if the court has been impressed by the allegations of fraud in the trail then the court may dismiss the election.

One of King’s main arguments was that no less than 12 voters, according to testimony heard during the trial, who voted in the Louisiana election, were indeed residents of Mississippi.

In fact some voters casting ballots in the election, King said, were even residents of Georgia and Colorado.

Others voters, King said, had claimed homestead exceptions in the state of Mississippi, and thereby established residency making themselves ineligible to vote in a Louisiana election.

Others who voted in the election, King said, were not even residents of Concordia Parish. Some lived in East Baton Rouge and some lived in Catahoula Parish.

In their closing arguments lawyers from both sides, citing multiple precedents, attempted to establish firm foundations for residency.

However during closing arguments Judge Marchman said very little indicating what direction she may be siding with.

During the trial both sides attempted to determine what it meant to be a resident.

“A toothbrush and a change of clothes does not make a resident,” King said.

When Maxwell’s attorney Tom Jones made his closing argument he started by saying that Lipsey simply waited to long to report any inconsistencies.

He likened the vote to a turn-style.

“When no challenge is made that vote counts,” he said.

Jones said that Maxwell should have been on notice of voting irregularities from 2003 when he originally ran for sheriff and was told then about voting problems.

The rest of Jones’ remarks were a systematic address of almost every one of King’s arguments.

And when Jones addressed King’s argument of voters from Colorado and Georgia, his answer raised a few eyebrows in the crowd.

Jones said if an individual splits his time between Louisiana and Mississippi he was unaware of any law that precludes that individual from voting in both states.