• 64°

Peacocks cleared in Florida elections complaint

The Florida secretary of state’s office has cleared local Republican party chairman Jeff Peacock and his wife Jodi of allegations of elections fraud.

According to a letter from Maria Matthews, an assistant general counsel in the secretary of state’s office, the Peacocks registered to vote in Florida in 1995 and then registered to vote in Alabama in 2009, when they changed their state of legal residence.

“They did not at any time vote in Florida and Alabama during the same time or cast more than one vote in an election,” Matthews wrote.

Matthews said her office found no criminal violations but has requested a certification of registration from an election official in Alabama and forwarded that certification to David Stafford, the supervisor of elections for Escambia County, Fla.

Florida law does not require a person who registers in a new state to let the old jurisdiction know that he or she has registered elsewhere, Matthews wrote.

A similar complaint was filed with the Alabama Republican party when Peacock was a candidate for state Senate District 22 earlier this year.

Peacock said he was pleased to have the issue resolved.

“I have said all along that this was a frivolous and politically motivated complaint,” he said. “The fact that it was dismissed so quickly, before even clearing its first hurdle, clearly demonstrates just how little credibility this complaint had. It is disturbing to consider how much potential damage one person can do by simply filing a baseless complaint and then broadcasting the story to the local media.

“This puts to rest this non-issue that my political opponents, on both sides of the state line, have attempted to use against me over the last couple months. I have now been cleared of any wrongdoing in both Alabama and Florida. I sincerely hope that our local political dialogue will finally begin to focus on real issues, rather than ridiculous political games.”