Midway candidate files lawsuit

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Samuel Stevens claims Charles Willis should be removed from April 30 ballot

By Alice Du Pont

Samuel Stevens, a candidate for Midway City Council District 4, filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Court seeking to have his opponent Charles Willis removed from the ballot. Named in the suit were Mayor Ella Barber and Roosevelt Morris, Midway’s interim city manager.

An emergency hearing to discuss the case will be at 10 a.m. Friday, April 19, before Judge James Sheffer. Midway city elections are set for Tuesday, April 30.

In the suit, Stevens claims the city’s charter clearly states that a candidate must reside in the district in which he or she is a candidate. Willis, who has been a council member, filed qualification papers to seek office as a candidate for District 4.
“Charles Willis does not live in District 4 at the present time and did not live in District 4 at the time of his qualification as a candidate in District 4. Mr. Willis’ known address is 33870 Blue Star Highway, Apt. 302, which is outside District 4,” the suit states.

Stevens claims in the lawsuit that Morris knew, or should have known that Willis did not live in the district when he accepted his qualifying. Additionally, Stevens maintains that Mayor Barber also knew where Willis lived. Because the two, Stevens alleges, had knowledge of Willis’ address, they failed in their responsibilities and mayor and interim city manager.
“The city manager permitted and authorized Willis to qualify as a candidate in a district in which he did not live and does not live, and Willis has been allowed to remain as a candidate despite a demand for the removal of his name from the ballot by members of Stevens’ team due to the violation of the City Charter,” the lawsuit states.