Dothan There will soon be an attempt to remove Dothan Commissioner Amos Newsome from office. The effort is spearheaded by other members of the commission and comes after Newsome’s longtime girlfriend, Olivia Reynolds, was found guilty Wednesday of voter fraud.
It was because of that fraud that Newsome was re-elected in 2013.
Multiple commissioners, speaking privately, say they will go to any reasonable lengths to get Newsome out of office. In fact, they have been saying that for months but waited until Reynolds’ trial to push forward.
Now that Reynolds has been convicted its full steam ahead to get Newsome gone. The only question is how?
Commissioners are considering a face-to-face meeting, perhaps an executive session closed to the public. They would ask him to step down. If he refuses---and most expect Newsome would--- legal action could come next.
That would be challenging since Newsome has not been criminally charged with involvement in the ballot scheme.
Representing District Two, he was re-elected on the strength of absentee ballots---of 124 cast he received 119.
Four people were arrested for their roles in rigging the ballots to favor Newsome. Janice Hart pleaded guilty in a plea deal and received probation. Lesa Coleman was sentenced to six months in the county jail. She is appealing. A fourth person has yet to be tried. Reynolds will be sentenced later this year.
Commissioners---most if not all of them---feel that Newsome’s victory two years ago is not only tainted but illegal. They believe he was defeated fair and square by Lamesa Danzey. She filed a lawsuit following the election but later dropped it, likely because of the expense involved.
They were hoping that Reynolds would implicate Newsome if, for no other reason, to save her own hide. She didn’t and, to this day, nobody in a position of authority has ever said publicly Newsome is a crook. Privately—well, that’s another story.
If Newsome is ousted it’s unclear whether Danzey would be declared the winner or if a special election will be held.
Newsome has, since the election, refused to comment on the matter.