Suit filed against BOE member

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Butler County residents have filed a civil suit against board of education member Johnny Lee, claiming he doesn’t reside in the district he represents.

Plaintiffs Greg Griffin and Vonciel Bedgood charge that Lee, who represents District 5 on the BOE, actually lives in District 1.

“We’ve got pretty good information that Mr. Lee lives on the wrong side of the road, so to speak,” said Montgomery attorney James Anderson, who is representing Griffin and Bedgood in the suit. “You have to live and reside in a district at least 12 months prior to being elected to office according to Alabama state law.”

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The two parties were scheduled to appear before Judge Ed McFerrin on July 13 in Butler County Circuit Court, but the hearing has been postponed due to the run-off election being held on the same day. Anderson is a Democratic nominee for Alabama Attorney General and will face Giles Perkins in the run-off.

The hearing had not been rescheduled as of Thursday.

The plaintiffs claim Lee resides at 18990 Mobile Rd. in Georgiana, which would place his residence inside District 1.

Lee claims he lives at 503 Cook Bridge Rd. in Georgiana.

“Our position is that Mr. Lee lives in the district,” Lee’s attorney James R. Seale said. “We have furnished them with evidence that he lives in the district, but they still don’t believe it. Mr. Lee is going to testify that his permanent residence is in the district.”

Lee was appointed to the board in June 2007 to fulfill the term of Joanne Peak, who moved from Butler County. At that time, both Griffin and Bedgood were also candidates to replace Peak.

Lee was elected to a full six-year term on the board in 2008.