Attorney: Officials to take 5th in voting irregularities case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Attorney: Officials to take 5th in voting irregularities case

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - An attorney says three Wilkinson County officials will take the Fifth Amendment if asked to testify in a bizarre election challenge.

Sheriff Reginald Jackson, Circuit Clerk Mon Cree Allen and Supervisor Richard Hollins went to court to challenge their re-election losses in the Aug. 7 primary.

What makes the case unusual is that the three incumbents wanted a court to decide the matter, but it now appears they don't want to participate in the hearings that began last week.

Ben Piazza Jr., the Jackson attorney representing Hollins' primary opponent, says the officials plan to take the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from self incrimination. The three races were left off the county's general election ballot pending resolution.

The incumbents were reportedly losing the Democratic primary when the polls closed. Piazza says they were declared winners after paper ballots were counted by a small group of people, including the sheriff's sister, Easter Prater, the chair of the county's Democratic Executive Committee.

That's when accusations began to surface that someone stuffed the ballot boxes.

Numerous attempts to contact Prater, the incumbent officials and their attorneys over the weekend were not successful.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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