Hinds County will pay for a lawyer to defend the Election Commission in a lawsuit filed over its failure to order the number of ballots required by state law. But the vote the Board of Supervisors took Monday to do so did not come come without rancor. Jackson attorney Ali Shamsiddeen, who lost the Hinds County circuit judge race by about 4,000 votes to incumbent judge Jeff Weill, filed the lawsuit Nov. 24, claiming the commission’s actions affected the outcome of the election. District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham, who was not present at Monday’s board meeting, suggested Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran should have to pay the legal fees herself.
“Even though it is allowable by law for the board to pay Ms. Cochran’s legal fee, I admonish (board members) to consider your vote on this matter long and hard,” Graham wrote in a letter read at the meeting. “I am definitely not comfortable utilizing Hinds County taxpayers’ dollars to support the defense of someone who has engaged in illegal activity by her own admission.”
After the election, Cochran admitted to The Clarion-Ledger that she purposefully ordered less than half the required number of ballots in order to save the county money.
In his letter, Graham argued that voting for the funding of the legal counsel would “put Hinds County back 60 years in voting equality and contribute to racial tension.”
Full Article: Hinds to pay attorney to defend Election Commission.