Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reserve Election Case Heading To An Evidentiary Hearing

By John Severance

RESERVE -- The Reserve election case is heading to an evidentiary hearing before Judge Matt Reynolds on Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. at the Catron County Courthouse.
Robert Caylor filed suit on April 8 after losing the Village of Reserve Trustee election by one vote to Keith Riddle.
In the election on March 2, Edward Romero and Riddle had 99 and 91 votes respectively while Caylor had 90. Richard Torres finished with 87.
In his suit, Caylor named 12 people who he claimed were not eligible to vote in the March 2 election.
Village attorney William Perkins had made a motion to throw the suit out, because he said Caylor and Tippett missed the deadline in filing a contest to the election.
But at a June 2 hearing, Reynolds ordered Village officials to produce the evidence that Riddle was certified on March 5. The affidavits, though, did not have any certification dates on them.
A summary judgment motion was then filed by the Village, but on July 27, Reynolds ruled the case would go forward by holding an evidentiary hearing.
“If they had won,” Tippett said, “the case would have been over.”
Reynolds wrote in his memorandum decision on July 29 that the intervenor did not provide the Court with a copy of the Certificate of Election referenced by the Certification of Qualification.
And what is to be expected on Aug. 25?
“It’s kind of like a mini-trial,” Tippett said. “After the evidentiary hearing, he can put Caylor in and take Riddle out. He can do it on the same day.”
If the judge does rule in favor of Caylor, it will be up to the district attorney to file charges if there was any wrongdoing by Village officials or the 12 residents who Caylor claimed were not eligible to vote in the election.
“All that stuff will be left up to the DA’s office,” Tippett said.
Caylor, meanwhile, said he could not be happier after hearing that Reynolds had scheduled an evidentiary hearing.
“I am elated,” Caylor said. “The Village is out of it. It’s me against Keith. The Village lost its intercession and Perkins is no longer involved,”
Caylor also is hoping this case will affect others in the future.
“I am hoping this case will be an opportunity for the state legislature to look at and change some of these laws that we have,” he said.

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