Former Councilman Arthur Dowdell still contends Councilman Clemon Byrd was not eligible to run for his seat in Ward 1.
Dowdell spoke before the Auburn City Council at the April 7 meeting. Byrd won the seat in an Aug. 26, 2014 election 246 to 147 against Dowdell.
Dowdell said the Alabama Attorney General’s office was investigating the race.
“Mr. Byrd has never lived at that house [in Ward 1], and at that point [after the election], we put the house under surveillance,” Dowdell said.
Dowdell said one of his supporters moved into the house next door to Byrd’s listed residence of 1116 Martin Luther King Drive.
“Every night since (Byrd) has been on the city council, we’ve had people go by and make sure when he moves in and when he moves out,” Dowdell said.
April 7 was the second time Dowdell has come before the city council to raise the issue. He previously spoke at the Dec. 2, 2014, council meeting after his lawsuit against Byrd was thrown out after Dowdell’s lawyer missed a filing deadline.
Byrd was not at the April 7 meeting. City Manager Charles Duggan said Byrd contacted him before the meeting and had been tied up unexpectedly. He has always responded to Dowdell’s accusations with the comment that he lives in Ward 1 and was qualified to stand for office.
"My reaction to him is basically still the same," Byrd said at the Dec. 2, 2014, council meeting. "I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing for the people."
Byrd now list his address as 1449 Richland Road, which is the address of Village West Apartments.
Duggan had no comment on Dowdell’s remarks but said he has not heard anything from the Attorney General’s office.
Mayor Bill Ham said he has not been contacted by any agency about Ward 1.
“I thought the deal had come and gone,” Ham said. “I’m not sure what his goal or motive is at this point.”
The Attorney General's office was not available to comment by deadline.
Other Items discussed at the council meeting:
- The Annual Citizen Survey results were presented before the meeting. Chris Tatham of the ETC Institute, which conducted the survey, said Auburn continues to be a model city with citizen satisfaction in city services.
- Approved a $2.1 million contract with Baily-Harris Construction Co., Inc. for the Toomer’s Corner renovation.
- Appointed election officials for the April 28 special election to approve funding for a new high school.