AUGUSTA, GA - The Richmond County Board of Elections dismissed a challenge filed against the qualification of Richard Roundtree to run as a candidate for Sheriff of the Richmond County Sheriff Office.
Two Roundtree’s attorneys showed the panel of Mtesa Wright, L.C. Myles and Chip Barbee documents indicating the candidate was current on a payment plan for unpaid federal taxes and had satisfied a state tax lien for a few hundred dollars on June 5, a few days after swearing his qualifying affidavit.
Willie E. Cooper Jr., who alleged the Board of Education public safety officer owed back taxes, did not attend a hearing on the challenge. He was represented by an attorney.
Cooper’s complaint alleges that Roundtree owes more than $17,000 in federal taxes for the years 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. He also says Roundtree owes almost $800 in state taxes for 2004 and 2005.
Cooper cites the same section of the state constitution that appeared in a complaint filed against Superior Court judge candidate Willie Saunders, filed last month by Augusta lawyer Jack Long.
The section states that no one who is a tax “defaulter” may run for or hold office. The law provides an exception for someone who is in a payment plan to satisfy a tax debt.
Roundtree called the hearing “an unfortunate formality,” but not a serious threat to his candidacy. He suggested that somebody else is really worried with his candidacy.