Last updated: July 18. 2013 12:14PM - 101 Views
MARTHA SPARKS, Society Editor and CHRIS STRATTON, Staff Writer



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MAN A Man resident is challenging the eligibility of a member of the Town Council.
Carmellia Rachel Dingess, a former candidate for Man Town Council has petitioned the Circuit Court of Logan County to order the current council to follow state law and rule on her election contest.
The issue at the center of the case is the residency of Council Member Roger Muncy.
Muncy was elected to the town council in the June 14, 2011 election, which was certified on June 21, 2011, after the canvass.
Following the canvass, Dingess timely filed a challenge against Muncys residency status, alleging that he is not a bona fide resident of the Town of Man, and is therefore ineligible for a seat on the council.
State election law required the council to decide election contests.
A party aggrieved by the councils decision may appeal to the Circuit Court and then to the W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals.
Dingess seeks a Writ of Mandamus from the court, directed to the council, ordering it to rule on her election contest. To date, no ruling has been made.
In order to be granted the Writ, Dingess must prove three elements:
That she has a clear legal right to the relief she seeks;
That there is a legal duty on the council to do the thing which she seeks it to do; and
There is no other adequate remedy at law.
In her challenge to Muncys residency, Dingess contends that Muncy does not live in the city limits, a requirement of state law and the town charter.
Dingess attached to her petition, to the circuit court several documents supporting her position.
On of the exhibits consists of a copy of a Logan County Real Estate listing for Roger D. and Dorothy L. Muncy from the Logan County Sheriff's Tax Office. The 2011 tax ticket listed Muncy's taxable, residential property as being Lot 41, 42 and 43 at Hensley
Heights, a location beyond Man town limits.
The second major exhibit to Dingesss petition is a list of all qualified, registered voters within the Town of Man. Muncys name does not appear on the list, which was obtained from the Office of Logan County Clerk John Turner.
Exhibit three is a copy of a petition asking the Town of Man to annex a certain amount of property, including the area known as Hensley Heights. State law requires such a petition to be signed only by qualified, registered voters residing within the area to be annexed. Muncys name was signed to the petition, however, the area was never made a part of the town.
Muncys legal response to Dingess petition was not available at press time.
A hearing in the case is set for Wednesday, October 19, at 10:30 a.m., before Circuit Judge Eric O'Briant.
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