The Georgia secretary of state’s office is investigating an allegation of vote-buying in the Democratic runoff for Richmond County sheriff.
Sheriff Ronnie Strength said his investigators forwarded information Tuesday to the secretary of state after a preliminary investigation into a complaint made by a 23-year-old Augusta woman against a person campaigning for school public safety Lt. Richard Roundtree.
The woman, Latasha Moore, said she was at a Roundtree campaign event Aug. 18 at the Dogwood Terrace public housing area and was approached by Jerry Lee Jordan, according to a sheriff’s report.
Moore said Jordan promised her a car if she could persuade four other people to vote for Roundtree in the Aug. 21 runoff between him and sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles.
Moore told police she encouraged several people to vote for Roundtree and “obtained election certificates from the poll workers” to prove they had voted. Moore said that when she was finally able to make contact with Jordan, she was told she wouldn’t get a car “because the candidate had lost by 1,000 votes,” the report said.
The sheriff said Moore complained to police that she didn’t receive the car that was promised.
Strength said investigators sent the case to the secretary of state’s office for further investigation.
Jared Thomas, a spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp, confirmed that the information had been received Tuesday and an investigation had been opened.
Roundtree said he was not familiar with the allegation and that he wanted to read the police report before commenting further.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Moore said she was upset that the media was calling her and “knocking on my door.”
She said she didn’t want her name used in a police report and would not cooperate with any investigation.
“I told the sheriff that when I gave him all those papers,” she said. “I ain’t going to do it.”
Moore refused to say more and hung up. She did not return messages left on her voice mail seeking further comment.
Jordan’s wife, Cushena Jordan, said her husband had surgery Tuesday and wasn’t able to speak. She said she knew Moore as a customer of her business, U Wanna Ride Used Cars on Deans Bridge Road.
Jordan said the allegations were false and that she and her husband had asked everyone at the event to bring people they knew to the polls to vote for Roundtree. She said that when Moore said she didn’t have a car, her husband said to “get a down payment and come see me,” not that he would give her a car for votes.
“Anybody who knows my husband knows he don’t give away nothing,” she said.
Jordan said she has consulted with a lawyer and intends to file a complaint against Moore for slander.
She said she was upset that the report had been sent to the secretary of state when no sheriff’s investigators had spoken with her husband.
“Nobody has talked to us about it before tonight,” she said.