Bedford named in lawsuit
Melissa Dozier-Cason FCT Staff Writer
Senator Roger Bedford was one of four candidates named in a lawsuit against election officials, claiming that the candidates did not follow the law.
The suit, filed on Oct. 13, seeks for the removal of senators Lowell Barron, Zeb Little, Hank Sanders, and Bedford from the November ballot because they did not file the proper paperwork on their contributions before the June 6 primaries.
The lawsuit, filed by Benjamin Russell Wood Jr., named Secretary of State Nancy Worley in her capacity as chief elections officers for the state, and Autauga County Probate Judge Al Booth in his capacity as chief elections officer for the county as defendants.
"You expect the election officials of the state to do their jobs," Mark Montiel, the attorney representing Wood, said. "These men should not be on the ballot."
Little said the suit was frivolous and partisan because Montiel made an unsuccessful bid in the Republican primary for attorney general, and Wood ran as a republican candidate for Autauga County probate judge in 2000.
"I find it interesting that four Democratic state senators are named [in the suit]," Little said.
Bedford said that they followed the law based on the opinion of the attorney general and other lawyer's opinion of the law, and that if this was a real lawsuit, it would have named hundreds of others who followed the attorney general's opinion, not just four democratic senators.
While the lawsuit requests that the four senators be removed from the ballot, it is important for everyone to know that they have not been named as defendants, Little said.
"This is an attempt to influence the elections," Little said.
Montiel denies the claim that the suit is politically motivated.
The lawsuit has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ben Fuller. No hearing date has been set according to courthouse records.