Walker County Attorney Holds Press Conference On Tax Status Of Heiskell Foe

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - by Gail Perry

Don Oliver, county attorney for Walker County, held a press conference Tuesday to say he has turned over information about alleged tax liabilities of write-in Sole Commissioner candidate Ales Campbell.

After incumbent Bebe Heiskell narrowly defeated Dr. Paul Shaw in the primary, Ms. Campbell announced as a write-contender for the general election.

County Attorney Oliver said at the press conference at the Walker County Civic Center that last Thursday, Election Superintendent Barbara Berry alerted him that a citizen had called with the tax allegations against Ms.  Campbell.

The taxes in question could involve county, state or federal tax liens, it was said.

County Attorney Oliver said he investigated public records and determined that they "show the matter could proceed beyond merely gathering evidence."

 Because he said he represents the county and citizens as well as the office of Commissioner Heiskell, he said he recused himself to eliminate any appearance of impropriety.

He stated,  “I’m out” and said his only involvement has been to gather information from public records and to give it to the election superintendent and the board of elections chair.

Mr. Oliver went on to say that state law "seems to indicate that the delinquent tax issue may not stop a candidate from running from office, but appears to indicate that if elected, that person may not be eligible to serve."

 He added that at this point, he had done no research to verify the matter.

The recommendation was made that either the board turn the matter over to the Secretary of State, which supervises elections, or the Attorney General, or to seek independent legal advice, he said.

gailaperry@comcast.net


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