Sheriff election recount case scheduled to go to court Feb. 13
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2009 2:01 pm
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Jan. 8, 2009) — A request by former Sheriff J.T. Roberts for a recount or a new election will go to court Feb. 13, according to papers filed Wednesday with the office of Circuit Clerk Rachelle Beasley.
The case will be heard at 10 a.m. in the Pulaski County Courthouse by Judge William R. Haas, a senior judge from Howell County appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case after all local judges decided they couldn’t hear the case due to conflicts of interest.
Roberts is challenging both the narrow margin of his loss in the Nov. 4 general election to the current sheriff, J.B. King, and the way in which the election was conducted. Roberts filed court papers seeking not only a hand-done recount of the race that he lost by 38 votes out of 12,884 cast, but also an entirely new election that would set aside the results of the Nov. 4 race.
The final election tallies certified by County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer, also named in Roberts’ court papers, show 6,403 votes for Roberts and 6,441 for King. That’s well within the 1 percent margin for a recount under state law.
King has held the sheriff’s office since 2004 when he defeated Roberts, who had been seeking re-election to a fourth four-year term. Both King and Roberts are former troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol who retired from that agency before running for sheriff.
A visiting circuit judge, John C. Brackman, had been expected to hear Roberts’ case on Dec. 18. However, Roberts’ lawyers filed paperwork on Dec. 10 seeking the replacement of Brackman and requesting the appointment of a different judge; Brackman decided on Dec. 11 to withdraw from the case, and Pulaski County received formal notice on Dec. 22 that Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Laura Denvir Smith had assigned Hass as a senior judge to hear the case.