Garland Hardeman, the Inglewood City Council candidate who succeeded in overturning the June election victory of Councilman Ervin (Tony) Thomas because of Election Code violations, has asked an appellate court to declare him the new councilman.
Lawyers for Hardeman filed a petition for a writ of mandate Thursday with the 2nd District state Court of Appeal asking that Hardeman be declared the victor because Superior Court Judge Leon Savitch in October threw out more than enough ballots to wipe out Thomas' 16-vote victory. Seeking a writ of mandate provides for an expedited appeal before a three-judge panel; a decision is possible by next week.
Savitch annulled Thomas' election, finding that 31 absentee ballots cast for Thomas were illegal. He declined to declare Hardeman the winner and ordered a new election instead, saying it would be in the best interest of the voters.
In their petition, Hardeman's attorneys argue that the election laws required Savitch to declare Hardeman the winner because enough votes were disqualified to change the outcome.
Because the defendants--Thomas and the city--have appealed Savitch's decision, Thomas retains his position during the appeal process.