Temple Mayoral Candidate Not Eligible to Run for Office

Carrol County Ga -- A Temple man convicted of marijuana possession 25 years ago will not be allowed to continue his campaign for mayor, after the three member Carroll County Board of Elections on Wednesday denied that he was qualified to seek or hold office.

The qualifications hearing was set for Wednesday after the City of Temple received documents challenging the qualifications of Gerald Powell. The documents alleged that Powell was convicted of felony sale of marijuana in 1992. Under Georgia law, a felony conviction of crime involving moral turpitude disqualifies a potential candidate from seeking office.

On Wednesday, Powell's attorney, Derek Rouse, presented documents that he claimed showed that Powell's 1992 conviction was actually reduced to a misdemeanor.

In the end, Carroll County Board of Elections Chairman Pete Gamble and Vice Chair Seth Hobson agreed that the board believed the documents that they had seen previously and could verify over the ones presented yesterday by the defense. The documents presented by the county  included one dating back to 1992 with Powell's signature, accepting the felony conviction.

As you can imagine, both Powell and his attorney were disappointed with the ruling. Rouse was convinced that the document, showing Powell's offense was reduced to a misdemeanor, was accurate and should have been considered.

Rouse commented, "Between going to the GBI and speaking to the people down there, doing that part of the homework and then we went downstairs just before the hearings started and spoke to the clerk's office because what they are talking about is not on his rap sheet."

Rouse contended that he felt the challenge of his candidate's qualifications was brought to light out of malice.

"I think this was done to prevent him from running. I think the lateness of the hour when this was brought, I mean you can do everything legally but you can still have malicious intent also and I think that's what this was," added Rouse.

Powell has 10 days to appeal the decision. His attorney said they will discuss the possibility of appealing.
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Carroll County