Election trial to begin Friday

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The trial for former Sheriff Bob Jordan and judge executive candidate John Montgomery is set to begin tomorrow in the Magoffin County Circuit Courtroom.

The two are suing their respective opponents, Sheriff Carson Montgomery and Judge Executive Dr. Charles Hardin, for voter fraud in regards to absentee voting, asking that they be named the rightful winners of the election.

Both sides have submitted witness lists, with a revised witness list of 81 people submitted and subpoenaed to appear by Ryan Allison, Jordan and John Montgomery’s attorney. Dr. Hardin’s attorney, Eldred E. Adams, submitted a witness list of 13 witnesses and Carson Montgomery’s attorney, James L. Deckard, submitted a witness list of 17 people.

Witnesses range from people expected to claim they sold their vote, to law enforcement expected to claim they “acted under the direction and control of Sheriff Jordan to investigate this election.” Members of the Magoffin County Board of Elections are named, alongside the names of several people listed as convicted felons and probation officers.  

The trial is scheduled for Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Perry County Circuit Judge William Engle is hearing the trial and, with his busy schedule in Perry County, is projecting the trial to take four days. This is a bench trial, so there will be no jury. At of the time of this printing, the trial is open to the public.

In the pre-trial conference on Tuesday, the attorneys involved said they discussed logistics to make the trial run smoother and faster.

Ryan Allison said, “We’re anxious to finally get to push on with this proof.”

Allison had listed Randy Salyer’s cell phone records as one of his exhibits of proof, but has since removed them from the exhibit list, stating he decided not use them for his case.

Randy Salyer, who is also listed on Allison’s witness list, has been named by other witnesses of allegedly telling people, also listed as witnesses, how to fill out an application for an absentee ballot, then would go pick up the signed ballot from the witnesses in exchange for $100.

Adams is confident Dr. Hardin will be found innocent, despite Allison’s witnesses.

“We feel Dr. Hardin will be exonerated,” Adams said. “He didn’t do anything wrong and we are confident to go forward.”

With the unusually high level of absentee voting in Magoffin County being the key evidence for the plaintiffs, Deckard said, “I find it interesting that Bob Jordan received more than 500 absentee votes and even if every absentee vote is thrown out, Carson Montgomery would still be the winner and still be sheriff.”