Blythe vote-buying case referred to Georgia Attorney General – The Augusta Chronicle

Posted: February 25, 2021 at 2:13 am

Susan McCord|Augusta Chronicle

A Blythe city councilmans vote-buying case has been bound over to the Georgia Attorney General.

State Elections Board Chief InvestigatorFrances Watson told the board Wednesday that Daniel Martin was seen at a Blythe convenience store buying a vote for mayoral candidate Phillip Stewart.

Martin was seen purchasing a six-pack of Mikes Hard Lemonade and a pack of cigarettes for Jacob Odom, who was under 21 at the time, Watson said.

Martin is accused ofbuying Odom the items in exchange for a vote for Stewart in that days election on March 20, 2018, shesaid.

When the store clerk informed Blythe police, they located Odom in Martins vehicle.

Martin was indicted by a Richmond County grand jury for vote-buying on March 27, 2018.

Martin did not participate in the Zoom meeting Wednesday due to pending criminal matters, an investigator stated.

Attorney Rachel Ray spoke on Martins behalf, saying the store clerk, Judy Cordova conveniently failed to report she was in a relationship with one of the same police officers until a later trial and that Odoms testimony continued to change.

Ray attributed the lack of progress on Martins indictment was because the evidence is so weak and lacking.

Augusta Circuit District Attorney Jared Williams office recently referred Martins indictmentto the attorney generals office to be referred to another judicial circuit because Williams was Martins attorney before winning the Nov. 3 election.

Martiniwon a three-way race for city council in November.

With the 2018 indictment pending, Martin would challenge Cordova in a May 2018 special city council election that ended in a tie.

During the runoff campaign, Cordova and others criticized Martins plethora of social media posts referencing white genocide a Muslim takeover and other statements they deemed offensive. Cordova won the runoff.

At the later trial was held on former councilwoman Cynthia Parhams challenge of her four-vote loss to Stewart for mayor based on the vote-buying allegation and several other challenged votes.

While testifying, Martin invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination numerous times.

Stewart, represented by former U.S. attorney Ed Tarver, prevailed in the challenge and the verdict was upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court.

At the bench trial, visiting judge Lawton Stephens said Parham failed to prove a sufficient number of illegal votes.

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Blythe vote-buying case referred to Georgia Attorney General - The Augusta Chronicle

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