Tuscaloosa Board of Education case dismissed

Tuscaloosa Board of Education case dismissed

Camille Studebaker

After a three-year-long controversy surrounding Cason Kirby’s election to the District 4 seat on the Tuscaloosa Board of Education, the case filed against him in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court was dismissed today.

In 2013, Kirby beat incumbent, Kelly Horwitz, 416-329, a vote that Horwitz questioned. She alleged voter fraud after the election, insisting many of the votes were illegal. She further declared that most of the illegal votes were from University of Alabama Greek students who were ineligible to vote in the district, or were bribed to vote for Kirby through illegal perks, such as a limousine ride, concert tickets and free drinks.

After numerous attempts by Horwitz to contest the election, the Alabama Supreme Court eventually ruled in her favor, determining 159 of the votes cast were illegal. The trial, in which the ineligible voters were subpoenaed to testify, was set for Sept. 27. Horwitz needed to prove that at least 88 of the 159 illegal votes were cast for Kirby.

Just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge ruled in favor of defendant Cason Kirby, dismissing the lawsuit.

Horwitz wrote on her “Kelly Horwitz Challenge to Tuscaloosa Election Fraud” Facebook page that she and her attorney offered evidence that 63 of the illegal voters voted for Kirby in the form of depositions and affidavits. The judge ruled he would not accept the affidavit testimony, which included 55 of the voters. Not included in the group of 63 voters, 16 other people testified that they voted for Kirby, bringing the total to 79. Twenty-one people were subpoenaed but did not show up to court, and nine people skipped out on their depositions. Her attorney then asked for a writ of attachment to enforce their attendance.

“The judge denied that request on grounds that since he denied our motion to accept the affidavit evidence there was no way we could meet our burden of showing 88 voted illegally,” Horwitz wrote. “My attorney argued that if we were ask an appellate court to review his rejection of the affidavits, we would need to be able to have the testimony of the missing voters to show what the final outcome was.”