Peach Board Votes to Drop Coroner Candidate

9:01 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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Peach County's board of elections says Otis Lee Daniel can't run for coroner because of a past felony conviction.

Last week, Daniel told us that he was convicted of a burglary charge in 1972, when he was 17.

He told us he was pardoned more than 20 years ago.

John Jackson, the pastor at the church Daniel attends, says Daniel's contributions to the community should outshine the dark mark on his record.

He says, "The (retired) fire department chief, he's an officer in the church. He's been an outstanding citizen in Peach County for many years."

But the board's attorney told them that pardons don't matter for candidates for coroner, sheriff and some other positions.

Board chairman Larry Pearce says, "The coroner is the person who is appointed to take the position of sheriff if the sheriff is not available or is removed or has to leave office. So the law pertains to both the sheriff and the coroner."

So by a 3 to 1 vote, the board pulled Daniel from the ballot.

"The law is what it is," says Pearce. "I don't interpret the law. We don't interpret the law as a board; we just apply it."

Daniel, a former Fort Valley fire chief, says he'll challenge the vote in Superior Court. He has ten days to do that.

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