The Jefferson Area Tea Party is calling for the immediate removal of Charlottesville's voter registrar exactly one week before Election Day.
Charlottesville Registrar Sheri Iachetta and former member of the city's electoral board Bettye Stephanie Commander are currently facing felony embezzlement charges stemming from city-paid cellphone bills. The Tea Party says it cannot expect lawful, accurate elections from someone suspected of embezzlement.
NBC29 reached out to both Iachetta and members of the electoral board, but Iachetta did not return our call and an electoral board member did not want to comment.
Jefferson Area Tea Party Press Release
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The Jefferson Area Tea Party released a statement today demanding the Charlottesville Electoral Board replace the City Registrar immediately. JATP Chairman, Mike Basile, said "Although we assume Ms. Iachetta's innocence, it is absolutely unacceptable for a Registrar indicted for felony embezzlement to oversee an election.
We cannot expect lawful, accurate elections if the person in charge of them is suspected of embezzlement, is careless with official receipts and documents, and failed to disclose these vitally relevant behaviors. We have all been deceived in this matter, including the Electoral Board. Only the Electoral Board can ensure the Registrar is capable of executing fair and accurate elections in accordance with state law. We must ensure the integrity of our elections. The Jefferson Area Tea Party will support the Electoral Board in any way possible to replace the Registrar and finish preparation for the November 4elections.
According to their website, The Electoral Board of the City of Charlottesville is appointed by Charlottesville Circuit Court Judges and is charged with conducting elections in Charlottesville and certifying the results. The Daily Progress quoted former city manager Gary O'Connell, "... the registrar serves at the pleasure of the board. The board has the sole authority to hire, fire and make decisions." Yet, the Electoral Board has chosen to take no action until after the election. Similarly, the Charlottesville General District Court has done the same by continuing the felony charge hearing against the Registrar until after the election. We have an election in less than a week, accountability matters right now.
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