HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - More allegations of voter irregularities stemming from this summer's general and special elections for mayor in Hattiesburg have come to light.
Hattiesburg public defender Alethea Shaw is registered to vote in Forrest County and cast her ballot in the June 4th general election, but her residence is listed on Green Hills Drive in Lamar County.
Shaw filed for homestead exemption at the Lamar County address in 2010. Her car tag is also registered there, and Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association confirms that the electricity is on and in her name. A visit was made to the house on Wednesday, but there was no answer. Calls were also made to the office number listed online, but that phone number is not in service.
The address that Shaw used to vote in the mayoral election in June is that of her parents' on Martin Luther King Drive in Hattiesburg. When WDAM visited that address Wednesday, no one answered the door.
Last month Shaw was seen escorting election commissioner Turner Jones as he left City Hall after an argument broke out during the review process of absentee ballots. She appears to be consoling Jones, who threatened to resign during the midst of the special mayoral election. Jones made good on his threat earlier this week when he turned in his letter of resignation to Mayor Johnny DuPree.
A visit was made to Jones' home to ask if he was aware that Shaw voted in the general mayoral election although she resides outside the city limits in Lamar County, but he was not at his home to answer the question.
One question remains in the air- is it legal for people to vote in Hattiesburg if their permanent residence is outside the city limits? Attorney General Jim Hood's office provided WDAM with this statement in response:
"If one has filed for homestead exemption, it creates a strong but rebuttable presumption that the property on which the exemption is claimed is one's residence for election purposes.. Once a legitimate residency is established, that residency continues until it is abandoned in favor of another with no intent to return."
No one in this story has been charged with any crime.