McDonald County Circuit Judge Gregory Stremel has dismissed a case that challenged the official ballot count in the Goodman mayoral election.
Cecil "J.R" Fisher, who filed the lawsuit, said he won't just walk away from the decision.
"I have to appeal," Fisher said. "I'm not giving up on an election I won."
According to court records, Stremel signed the order to dismiss the case on Aug. 6, and the order was filed on Friday. McDonald County Circuit Clerk Tanya Lewis said the dismissal can be appealed within 30 days.
In the most recent action, a hearing was held July 30 and Aug. 6. At the last hearing, Stremel allowed Fisher's attorney, William G. Weber, 14 days to submit a statute. He filed that information that afternoon, according to court records.
That day, Stremel signed the order, prepared by defense attorney Aaron Farber.
Farber claims his client, Greg Richmond, was rightly elected Goodman mayor more than four and a half months ago.
"The court being fully advised in the premises now finds for Contestee and dismisses Contestant's Petition to challenge election results in Goodman mayoral race of April 2, 2019," the order reads.
A ruling in the case was what Richmond wanted to hear. "I'm just glad it has been decided," Richmond said.
Fisher, a write-in candidate, and Richmond, the incumbent, faced off in the mayoral election in early April.
Richmond was sworn in April 16 as Goodman mayor during a city council meeting after city attorney Duane Cooper reviewed the county's certified election results.
In the lawsuit, Fisher said the total count of all the votes for mayoral candidates doesn't add up. The lawsuit claims that 13 votes were not counted.
Weber e-filed the lawsuit on May 4. Richmond was served the lawsuit's papers on May 11 and hired Farber to represent him in the case.
Farber filed a motion to dismiss on June 10.
Weber followed with filing a motion on July 3 to have access to the election materials, and on July 9, Stremel ordered that the ballots cast in the April 2 Goodman mayoral election be unsealed.
Fisher and Weber re-counted the ballots on their own. They concluded that Fisher won the election. Fisher then called for Richmond's resignation during the July 16 regular city council meeting. Richmond said he would not resign and preferred to have the matter decided in the courts.
General News on 09/05/2019
Print Headline: Judge Rules: Fisher Not Elected Mayor