Morris: ‘Resigning was my choice’
A former Caroline County supervisor said the decision to resign from his newly-elected seat on the school board was his personal choice–not something he was told he would have to do.
Luther Morris, 68, said he visited the Attorney General’s office Friday to inquire about the status of the state investigation of last month’s special school board election.
Morris won the Reedy Church district seat on Nov. 2 with 384 votes, but candidate Jamey Lewchanin filed a complaint stating that Morris’ position as secretary of the county’s electoral board made him ineligible to campaign.
“I did no personal campaigning and I didn’t consider myself to be a candidate,” Morris told the Free Lance-Star this morning. “If I had planned to run, I would have got on the ballot in June.”
Although the investigation is still ongoing, Morris said that he was told by a representative in Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office that it is highly possible that he will be found in violation of election rules.
He said he was told that when he heard that people were going to vote for him, he should have told them not to and that he should have pulled down signs that were made in support of him.
Morris, who also resigned from the Electoral Board last month, will have to pay a $200 civil penalty to the State Board of Elections.
“I just decided to resign and clear my hands of it altogether,” Morris said. “Now, I’m just an ordinary citizen.”
It is not clear who will fill the vacant seat, which needs to be filled by January.
Slightly more than 1,000 voters filled out a ballot for the special election to fill the seat left vacant when Fred Peatross resigned the seat last November for health reasons.
Candidate Reggie Underwood trailed Morris with 251 votes, followed by Lewchanin with 232.
Incumbent Valerie Fells, who was appointed to temporarily replace Peatross, finished with 148. She did not file by the deadline to have her name placed on the ballot.
Morris was the county’s Circuit Court clerk from 1983 to 1991, and he served on the Board of Supervisors for 16 years until 1999.