Judge dismisses Long Reach council candidate's suit

Tolson filed injunction after 13-vote defeat

November 23, 1999|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

A Howard Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit yesterday against the Village of Long Reach and the Columbia Association filed by a Columbia Council candidate contesting her narrow loss in an April election.

Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. dismissed the case brought by Deborah A. Tolson, who was defeated by Cecilia Januszkiewicz for the Long Reach seat on the council by 13 votes.

Tolson, who was representing herself, did not appear in court, and could not be reached to comment on the decision.

Januszkiewicz declined to comment.

"The matter's considered over, and any questions about the election can be put behind us," said Thomas M. Meachum, the lawyer representing the Long Reach Community Association. "Hopefully, all the parties concerned will move ahead in a productive fashion as for what's best for the community."

Saying that the election was "tainted," Tolson filed May 5 for an injunction seeking to bar Januszkiewicz from holding the village's seat on the 10-member council, which serves as the Columbia Association's governing body.

Tolson said some voters were wrongfully turned away from the polls because they did not provide a copy of a lease -- although she did not specify who, or how many -- and that the voting log contained "irregularities."

After an investigation, the Long Reach election committee found that four residents who were turned away should have been allowed to vote, but that the outcome of the election would not have been affected.

Tolson said at the time that the committee's admission "undermine[d] the entire election."

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