BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (CN) – After the Republican sheriff of Jefferson County lost the 1998 election by 37 votes, he and an attorney conspired to abuse state and national databases to disqualify black voters and threw the election back to the Republican sheriff, black voters says in a $100 million demand in Federal Court.
Sheriff Jimmy Woodward and attorney Albert Jordan were convicted of felonies for this.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Woodward’s and Jordan’s convictions on Jan. 11, 2006.
Woodward lost the 1998 general election to Democrat Mike Hale by 37 votes of 212,000 cast, but managed to overturn the election results and be declared the winner, the plaintiffs say.
To pull off this “despicable, bigoted and racially prejudiced scheme,” the defendants conducted “illegal and felonious computer searches of the plaintiffs’ personal histories on computer programs designed strictly for law enforcement personnel,” the complaint states. Then the sheriff assigned deputies to invade homes and interrogate and intimidate black voters, as the sheriff and his attorney crony felt they were likely to have voted Democratic, the complaint states.
Plaintiffs are represented by Nathaniel Martin of Jasper, Ala.