Lexington councilwoman cited with misdemeanor related to election documents

Herald-Leader Staff ReportMay 14, 2014 

Lori Shevawn Akers during the swearing-in ceremony for council members, Jan. 6, 2013.

PHOTO BY MATT GOINS — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Urban County Councilwoman Shevawn Akers was cited with a misdemeanor this week for alleged problems with signatures on documents she submitted to run in the Second District council race.

Akers was served a summons this week, charging her with "unsworn falsification to authorities," a Class B misdemeanor. A police report says the citation was given to Akers' attorney.

Candidates must turn in 100 signatures of residents in their district. The person who obtained the signatures is supposed to sign a form saying he or she obtained the signatures. There is a question whether one of Akers' forms was signed by the appropriate person, officials said.

The incident occurred Jan. 23, according to a citation filed in the Fayette County District Court. That's just a few days before the Jan. 28 filing deadline.

Burl McCoy, Akers' lawyer, said Wednesday that it was a simple mistake.

"We can explain it to the prosecutor and the court. I think everyone will accept our explanation," he said.

Despite the questions regarding who obtained the signatures, Akers said she has more than enough signatures to continue her run.

Akers said she never intended to circumvent the electoral process.

"I submitted more than 100 valid signatures from Second District voters that qualified me to run for re-election," Akers said in a statement. "I am confident that the court will find that I never intended to circumvent the electoral process."

Akers is to be arraigned May 30, according to court records.

She faces Michael Stuart and Byron Costner in the Second District primary race on Tuesday.

Don Blevins Jr., the Fayette County clerk, said it is not up to the clerk or the county Board of Election to determine whether someone is eligible to run for office. That's a question that must be answered by the courts, Blevins said.

Larry Roberts, the Fayette County attorney, declined to comment on the specifics of the charges against Akers.

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