The Alabama Supreme Court did not dismiss a complaint that University of Alabama students illegally meddled in the last Tuscaloosa School Board election. An appeal to the State Supreme Court was made after Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge Jim Roberts ruled that the complaint had no merit. Roberts refused to even give an appearance of non-bias in his handling of the case. He seemed more concerned about inconveniencing errant students than getting to the truth.
Kent Faulk reported: The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Wednesday afternoon that Kelly Horwitz, a former member of the Tuscaloosa Board of Education, can continue her fight over her 2013 re-election loss to an opponent she claimed benefited from illegal votes cast by members of University of Alabama sororities and fraternities.
In its 7-2 decision on Wednesday the Alabama Supreme Court found 159 votes in the board of education race were illegal based on the voters’ residency and other eligibility issues. That’s well in excess of the 87 illegal votes Horwitz was required to show before she could proceed to the second phase of an election contest.
The court ruled that Horwitz’s case be sent back to the trial judge for that second phase. In that second phase voters who cast the illegal ballots could be subpoenaed to testify at trial about who they voted for in the election.
The Alabama Supreme Court, however, found that Judge Roberts “did not err in concluding that Horwitz failed to prove the illegality of votes based on misconduct in the form of bribery.”
Horwitz had claimed some of the votes were the result of bribery, including concert tickets and free drinks offered by sororities or fraternities to get voters to the polls.
The University of Alabama administration could have come down firmly on the side of honest elections by openly criticizing the role that the University’s Machine played in a School Board Election, where students from all over the country who had no children in school voted in droves to unseat a popular school board member by electing one of their own.
Ed Enoch recently reported in The Tuscaloosa News on the findings of the University of Alabama Faculty Senate task force on diversity and citizenship:
“Through two public hearings, invited testimony and various interviews with critical figures, much of what we learned about students politics was disturbing and contrary to the standards for which our campus stands,” the report states. “Moreover, although unethical political behavior is most commonly ascribed to the Greek community on campus, we learned that political wrongdoing is also highly endemic to the independent community involved in campus politics.”
Will the truth ever be told about the last school board election. And will it really matter in a community like Tuscaloosa that is a “one horse” town, where a small number of students affiliated with The Machine rule District Four?