Cortez Sanitation District board candidate Don Etnier, who finished last in the recent election, filed a suit challenging the election before the results were even certified.
In a suit filed against election rival Jim Candelaria, Etnier alleged Candelaria is not eligible for office because he transferred property within the district to his name the same day as filing a self-nomination form for candidacy.
According to uncertified results, Etnier lost the election with 446 votes to Candelarias 1,026.
According to state law, no one can obtain property within a special district to qualify as a candidate for office of that district.
Etnier had filed a similar suit before the election, but the suit was deemed premature by District Judge Todd Plewe, who ruled the statute only applied to those who had already been elected.
The election was held May 8, and Etnier re-filed his suit the following day. In the prior case, attorney and election official George Buck Jr. filed a response and counterclaim accusing Etnier of doing the same thing in the election of 2010: deeding property to his company just before the election.
Further, Buck stated newly elected board member David Kimble also recently acquired land within the district.
In a response filed Friday, Candelaria denies Entiers allegations and says Etnier cannot legally challenge the election because he has not proven himself as an eligible elector.
Kimble ran unopposed for a two-year seat. John Stramel, was the second person elected to a four-year seat. He had 800 votes.
The judge has not yet ruled on the second lawsuit.
Reach Reid Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org