Alabama: suit filed over illegal 1998 investigation of absentee voters (court doc attached)
The Birmingham News reports: Some black Bessemer residents who voted by absentee ballot in the contentious 1998 Jefferson County sheriff's race filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, claiming former Sheriff Jim Woodward and others illegally investigated them in his bid to challenge election results.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham on behalf of Russell Trusser, Geneva Trusser, Telly Trusser and others, contending their civil rights were violated. Lawyers are seeking class-action status for the suit.
The suit relies on allegations stemming from federal charges filed against Woodward and lawyer Albert Jordan in 2000. A jury convicted the men in January 2006 of charges they conspired to run criminal history checks on absentee ballot voters to use in Woodward's 1998 election contest against Democratic challenger Mike Hale.
Jordan and Woodward continue to maintain their innocence and appealed their convictions. A judge sentenced Woodward and Jordan each to six months probation, but said, at that sentencing, he would've found the men not guilty based on the evidence.
Woodward, who maintains the federal investigation against him was politically motivated, said Tuesday a lawsuit with similar allegations already has been tossed out of court. He said the allegations are too old in the current suit. Woodward said he will consult with his attorney and is considering a countersuit. -- Federal lawsuit claims former Jefferson County sheriff, others illegally targeted some absentee voters in Bessemer in 1998 - al.com
The complaint may be viewed here.