Lots to be cast Monday to break school board tie
A tie to determine the last candidate who will appear on the ballot for the Southmoreland School Board will be broken on Monday, three months after the primary election.
Westmoreland County elections officials will cast lots to decide between incumbent Catherine Fike and Lois Eberly, who tied for fourth place in the Republican primary with 358 votes. The top four vote-getters in the primary will compete for four open seats in the general election on Nov. 5.
Fike is seeking a second, four-year term on the school board.
Elections Bureau Director Jim Montini said the race results should be certified next week after the tie is broken by the drawing between the two candidates.
On Friday, Judge Anthony Marsili rejected a last-ditch bid by Fike to overturn the primary results.
Marsili ruled that Fike's effort was filed too late. Election challenges had to be filed within 20 days of the May 21 primary or immediately after they were discovered, the judge said.
“Unfortunately, you saw the irregularities on the day of the election,” Marsili told Fike.
The Southmoreland district includes precincts in both Westmoreland and Fayette counties. When all results were in, Fike and Eberly finished about 30 votes behind incumbent Gail Rhodes, who placed third.
Fike in court documents contended Rhodes, who spent Election Day employed as a poll worker at an East Huntingdon precinct, violated election code by entering the precinct where ballots were cast. Days after the primary, Fike raised the allegations to the county elections bureau.
The board in turn sent the allegations to District Attorney John Peck for review. Peck last week issued a report that concluded Rhodes had violated the election code, but his office would not prosecute the case because her transgressions were minor.
In court Friday, Fike said Rhodes' conduct warrants her nomination to be overturned.
“If this behavior is condoned, in the future election officials will be free to violate election code,” Fike said.
Fike said she did not know if she would appeal Marsili's ruling.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 1 dead, 1 injured in Derry Twp. crash
- Harhai campaign emails from 2007 under review, Westmoreland County DA says
- Latrobe group cancels raffle, seeks ticket holders for refunds
- Southmoreland High School junior’s broken jaw ‘could have been avoided’
- Stewartsville principal’s comments taken out of context, district claims
- Ligonier Township considers cellphone tower requests
- Energy company responsible for polluting Donegal well appeals state’s finding
- 2 suspects charged with second robbery in Hempfield
- Former Pagans leader works out plea agreement
- Woman charged with assault spree in Jeannette
- Police investigate Hempfield fight