Residence dispute extended

Judge grants 2 days to resolve case of disqualified candidate

October 18, 2007

After raising the possibility of postponing Aberdeen's Nov. 6 election, a Harford County judge gave the parties involved in a dispute over a disqualified City Council candidate two days yesterday to resolve the matter at the city level.

Steven C. Johnson was ruled ineligible by the city's election board. State property tax records show that his principal residence is not within the city limits.

Johnson maintains that he is a city resident, filing to run using an address in the 100 block of Post Road, and sought a court order to get his name on the ballot.

During a hearing yesterday in Harford County Circuit Court, Frederick C. Sussman, an attorney representing the city, said Johnson skipped the step of filing an appeal to the City Council before taking his dispute to court.

Johnson's lawyer, Joe Creed, argued that Johnson would not have received a fair hearing from the council because all five incumbents are running for re-election.

Harford County Circuit Judge Stephen Waldron gave the parties until tomorrow to discuss various resolutions, but he indicated that an injunction to postpone the election is a possibility.

Johnson did not attend yesterday's hearing but said in a telephone interview afterward that he welcomed the possibility of a postponement.

"I would like an opportunity to campaign with the rest of the candidates," he said. "That's all I'm looking for, a fair and impartial decision."

Madison Park

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