The story below could have big implications across the state and here in Loudon County. As you know, since the November turn over of control of the state legislature form democrat to republican thus the change of local election commissions from democrat to republican majorities, many counties have replaced current democrat election coordinators with republican appointees. Some have held that this change if purely politically motivated, might be illegal. That question may be about to be put to rest.
Apparently the Cumberland County election coordinator is going to challenge her firing in court. If the court were to find in her favor, all the local election commissions, including Loudon County, who have replaced their election coordinators since the November election could have a mess on their hands.
This story deserves watching.
Ex-Cumberland election head files suit
The former head of Cumberland County's election process is suing the Cumberland County Election Commission in what is believed to be the first lawsuit against election commissioners this spring.
10 News has been following what democrats in the state are calling political discrimination. Since republicans won a majority of Tennessee's legislature, county election commissions have switched as well. Now they're controlled by republicans in every county.
With that change, many election administrators who were appointed by democrats have been shown the door.
Many republicans maintain it's their right to appoint who they see fit to run the elections offices.
Suzanne Smith filed two separate lawsuits Tuesday in Cumberland County. In circuit court, she is suing the three republican commissioners, claiming they met in secret, conspired before even being appointed to get rid of her and ultimately dismissed her because she is or they perceived her to be a democrat.
In all, she's seeking $4 million in punitive damages.
The other lawsuit, filed in Chancery Court against the election commission and her replacement, asks a judge to rule her dismissal as illegal. In the suit, she asks for her job back.
Smith said in a telephone interview Thursday night she was unable to comment on the litigation and directed questions to her attorney, Jon Jones out of Cookeville.