Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

McIntosh, Glynn Leaders Indicted; Each Is Charged with Perjury in Vote Testimony

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

McIntosh, Glynn Leaders Indicted; Each Is Charged with Perjury in Vote Testimony

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY DICKSON

A McIntosh County commissioner and retired Glynn County official have been indicted for perjury for their testimony in a Superior Court hearing about a contested 2008 race.

In indictments returned and filed Friday, a McIntosh County grand jury charged County Commissioner Nathaniel Grovner and Ed Stelle, formerly head of Community Development in Glynn County, with single counts of felony perjury.

The indictments charge both men with knowingly making false statements under oath in January 2009 as Superior Court Judge Louisa Abbot of Savannah heard evidence in an election contest filed by Griffin Lotson. After losing a November 2008 race for a district soil and water conservation supervisor post to Robert Moore, Lotson contested the results but his case was ultimately dismissed.

Stelle testified that Robert Mucha, who is chairman of the county elections board, suddenly produced a stack of absentee ballots on election night when it appeared all the votes had been counted.

Stelle was watching the count as an observer for County Commission candidate Owen Greene.

"We thought we were done when Mr. Mucha came out and said we weren't,'' Stelle said. "He said he'd found five or six hundred more ballots and we were surprised."

The indictments say both men testified they heard Mucha say he had found 500 to 600 absentee ballots to be added to those already counted.

Mucha refuted the two men's testimony in court.

"There's no possible way I could have done that,'' Mucha testified. "That's ludicrous.''

Mucha testified the number of absentee votes counted that night remained a constant 1,210. An additional 500 would have pushed the total to 1,710, he said.

Neither Stelle nor Grovner could be reached for comment Friday and neither responded to telephone messages left at their homes. …

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