-- Valdosta, Ga. -- September 9, 2012 --
Nancy Whitfield Dennard is a member of the "Quitman 12." She said
"in January of 2012 we were suspended, myself and two other board members, by the Governor Deal because we had received indictments."
Those indictments were handed down to the Quitman 12, now known as 11 because one of the members has died. They were charged with voter fraud stemming from Brooks County's primary election in July of 2010. Nancy and the 2 other board members were on the board of education.
Leigh Touchton is the Valdosta NAACP President. She said "the three board members were removed from their position by the Governor. It was an executive order by Governor Deal. It's been nearly two years. No trial has been forthcoming. They've not been convicted of anything and yet they were removed from their office."
Because the legal amount of time that allows for a trial and potential verdict has past... That removal was reversed. All three board members were reinstated at the board meeting.
Brad Shealy is the Brooks County Board of Education President. He said "they have all the rights and privileges as any other board member has until the case is disposed of. And you know they're back on here because that's what the law says and we're going to follow the law."
For those that were accused, the reinstatement brought a welcome peace of mind. The individuals that accused the Quitman 12 have not been identified.