The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Finnegan responds to article on Stover


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 19, 2018 - 6:03 PM

Your Dec. 7, 2018 article “Stover responds to residency allegations” mentions me.

In April of 2018, I did in fact challenge Mr. Stover’s residency under O.C.G.A. 28-2-1(b). But you mislead the reader in two ways by stating that I provided no evidence in the hearing.

First, Mr. Stover’s publicly available divorce decree stating that he lost the marital residence and having a UPS store’s address as his “official” address seemed like evidence to me.

Second, but most importantly, the burden of proof is upon the elected official to prove they are a resident, not the other way around.

That’s what the Law says. The Administrative Hearing Judge actually admonished Mr. Stover’s lawyer on that very point. Every citizen has a right to challenge the residency of their elected representatives and their representatives are suppose to live within the districts they represent.

I believed then and I believe now, that in order to truly represent a district, you have to actually live there. You have to have a stake in what goes on there. I think requiring someone prove they have a rental agreement or a mortgage agreement should be required in addition to actually spending most of their time there.

Mr. Stover lives rent free in his mother’s basement. Apparently, he’s spending extended periods of time not just not in his district, but not even in his own Country! Believe it or not, the State of Georgia ruled that is ok, the living rent-free in your mother’s basement part anyway.

Also, in the hearing Mr. Stover said he purchased a property of his own in the district but that he was “in the process of renovating it” and not actually occupying it. It’s the same address that he mentions in his letter to the British court when he asks the authorities there allow his new stepchildren to leave the UK and the same property shown in the Channel 11 report as currently vacant and for sale.

I wonder what, if any, renovations Mr. Stover did there before he knew the British judge said no to his request, or was it all an elaborate ruse designed to fool both the UK officials and mislead the Administrative Court Judge here? It seems now that the UK has said “No” to Mr. Stover’s request that his desire to actually live at this Coweta County house has, shall we say, cooled? I believe it’s currently for sale in the same state as when he purchased it.

Further, that letter to the British Court was written on his official letterhead! Curiously, it’s also undated. Even more, in that letter to the British authorities, Mr. Stover says he’ll leave here to live there with his new wife and stepchildren if the kids aren’t allowed to live here.

It’s an interesting letter that your readers would probably be interested in reading, no?

You have reporters, so why don’t you ask Mr. Stover to provide a copy of that letter and what the date of it was and why he chose to leave it undated. Perhaps it’s a forgery?

While you’re at it, ask Mr. Stokely if he knew of its existence when we had the hearing.

Ask the administrative court judge if that knowledge might have influenced her decision.

Now that would be some good reporting.

If it’s not obvious by now that Mr. Stover has no intention to actually reside in the county, I don’t know what it would take.

Republican voters have been conditioned, brainwashed actually, to blindly vote for whomever has an “R” next to their name. And a “representative” like Mr. Stover is what we get because of that. But in a country that currently has a president who hawks goods from the Oval Office, I shouldn’t be surprised. We live in interesting times.

Tom Finnegan

Newnan