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Douglas County BOE special meeting 10/21/22

Members Present: Myesha Good (chair), Maurice Hurry (vice-chair), Robert Proctor, Kevin Evans, 

Michele Crochetiere 

Director: Milton Kidd 

Attorneys present: Aaron Watson, Michael Coleman 

Elizabeth Bennett Qualification Challenge Against Henry Mitchell III for Commissioner of District 1 

M. Good announced speakers have three minutes to present 

Elizabeth Bennett stated Henry Mitchell does not live in District 1. Her claim is based on information 

obtained through an open records request. Her main points: 

  • According to divorce documents, Mitchell has property in District 4. Since July 2020, he has 

resided there and receives mail there. 

  • His driver’s license has his old address, and he has signed documents with his old address. This is a violation of the law. 

Linda Cripe also spoke. Her points: 

  • Though she does not live in District I, as a concerned citizen, she is concerned Mitchell does not live in the district he represents. 
  • He has neighbors of his new address who will attest he has lived outside the district for over two years. 

Office Report 

M. Kidd said the office has looked into the allegation and this is what he reported: 

  • Code section 21-2-217(2) covers residency rules and states an elected official can live outside 

the district temporarily. 

  • Section 15 states election officials can consider evidence of where a person resides. Mitchell’s driver’s license and homestead exemption document indicate he lives in District 1. 

County attorney Michael Coleman also gave the board a report including: 

  • This meeting is not a hearing on the challenge because it is not timely. Qualification challenges 

must be made within two weeks of the close of the qualifying period. 

  • The board can determine if it wants to bring a challenge on its own accord. 
  • Coleman interviewed Mitchell. Mitchell stated he has always intended to live in District 1 and 

indicated his residence outside the district is temporary. Coleman emphasized that intention is a critical factor in the law. 

  • He stated Mitchell’s driver’s license and homestead exemption show the District 1 address, and 

he also gets significant mail, including tax records, at that address. 

  • He reported that contrary to the testimony, a division of property has not been formally made. 

However, a proposed agreement has been formulated and waits the judge’s signature. In it, 

Mitchell would attain the property in District 1. 

  • Legally, there is no valid reason to disqualify Mitchell. 

Kidd reported to the board that 21-2-214 (14) provides that the homestead exemption shall be deemed 

the official address. And Mitchell attested to the fact that the District 1 address is his permanent 

address. 

The board, attorneys, and staff went into executive session to discuss the matter which might result in 

potential litigation. 

Good asked the board if there was motion. 

M. Crochetiere thanked Bennett and Cripe. She said her concern is the citizens of District 1 should be 

represented by someone residing in the district, although she understands the challenge was not timely. 

She moved to challenge Mitchell’s qualifications. 

R. Proctor seconded. 

Proctor and Crochetiere voted in favor of the motion. Hurry, Evans, and Good opposed it. The motion 

failed. 

Meeting Adjourned

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