Flowers’ votes to count

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 31, 2002

BNI Newswire

Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price gave former State Rep. Steve Flowers the chance he was looking for. On Thursday, Price issued a temporary restraining order on the Alabama Republican Party and party chairman Marty Connors from not counting votes cast for Flowers in the upcoming district 14 state senate race.

"To the voters of the district, we can now send a message," Flowers said Thursday afternoon. "All I have wanted was to give the people of this district a chance to select their next senator."

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Despite the ruling, Connors said the case is not resolved.

"This case will be solved in a Shelby County court," Connors said, referring to another hearing in front of Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Michael Joiner on June 5, the day after the primary.

"No matter what happens in the election – even if Flowers finishes last – I want to continue with the hearing to assure the fact parties have the right to approve their candidates," Connors said.

In the ruling issued by Price, the court enjoined the party and Connors from, "failing to certify all votes cast for Steve Flowers in the June 4, 2002, Republican primary election and in any subsequent runoff election for state senate 14."

Price did not stop at the restraining order, he also prevented

the party from continuing an advertising campaign. "… Connors is temporarily enjoined to cease and desist immediately from running any advertisements in newspapers or other publications or making any public statements concerning his intent or that of the Alabama Republican

Party not to certify votes cast for Steve Flowers."

"We are not going to certify the votes," Connors said in reaction to Price’s ruling.

Connors also mentioned the Alabama Supreme Court had stayed Price’s decision.

The court proceeding on Thursday came just a day after complainants signed an arrest warrant for Flowers – accusing him of assaulting a 9-year-old boy over the weekend.

In response to the accusations of assault, Flowers firmly denies striking the child and in turn argues he was the one assaulted. According to the Associated Press, Flowers turned himself in to Pelham police about 9 p.m. Wednesday night, paid $400 bail and was promptly released.

The incident occurred over the weekend, when Flowers confronted members of a political action committee (PAC) who have been involved in a negative ad campaign against Flowers.

The warrant was the product of a complaint from David Dyer, a private investigator in Shelby County, whose work was used to compile a report to the Alabama Republican Party that originally had Flowers kicked out of the race.

The report was used as evidence in an April 15 hearing in Mountain Brook by a party candidate committee who disqualified Flowers because he had not lived in the district for a minimum of one year.

Dyer is also linked to the PAC, which is based in Alabaster and goes by the name Truth PAC.

In financial disclosures on Thursday, the investigative firm Dyer manages, SDI Inc., made an in-kind contribution of $500 to the PAC on Friday, May 24, the same day the PAC was organized.