City clerk: Port Wentworth mayoral candidate ineligible for November election

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PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV) – A man vying for mayor of Port Wentworth will not be eligible to run for the office in November because he has not been out of prison long enough, according to the city clerk.

Julius Hall said his civil and political rights were restored by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and that at least 10 years had passed from the date he completed his sentence, which is required by the Georgia Consitution.

However, a complaint from Jodi Hawks, a Port Wentworth elector, challenged whether a decade had passed and cited Hall’s crimes as a former Savannah police officer, including interstate drug trafficking.

Records show a hearing was held earlier this week before Shanta Scarboro, the Port Wentworth city clerk and municipal superintendent of elections.

After reviewing the arguments, Scarboro determined neither the date Hall was released from prison (July 18, 2013) nor the date he was released from federal supervised release (January 26, 2016) would fulfill the 10-year requirement come Election Day.

She added the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles’ order to restore Hall’s civil and political rights doesn’t negate his obligation to the 10-year eligibility requirement.

Scarboro’s final decision states:

WHEREFORE, after careful consideration of all the evidence and argument of the Parties,
the DECISION of the Municipal Superintendent of Elections is that Candidate Julius P. Hall has
not satisfied the material candidate eligibility requirements of Art. 2, § 2, ¶ III of the Georgia
Constitution in that at least ten years have not elapsed from the date he completed his federal
sentence. Candidate Julius P. Hall is, therefore, found to be NOT QUALIFIED to hold public
office as of November 2, 2021.

Election officials have been directed to withhold Hall’s name from the November municipal election ballot.

Hall has 10 days to appeal Scarboro’s decision.

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