Freshman State Rep. David Cole (R-Madison) will be deposed in the Alabama State House on May 17 in a lawsuit alleging he didn't fulfill residency requirements to serve in the role.
Cole won the House District 10 seat with 51.6% of the vote in the general election. Marilyn Lands, a Democrat, received 45%, and Elijah Boyd, a Libertarian, won 3.4%.
Boyd filed a complaint for contesting the election in Madison County Circuit Court on November 22, alleging Cole wasn't eligible under state law to serve as State Representative for House District 10 due to him not being a resident of the district and him not being a resident of the district for one year prior to the general election on November 8.
Algert Agricola Jr., Cole's attorney, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of Alabama on Friday to limit the number of questions in the deposition.
Agricola told 1819 News in an interview, "the issue in the case is the number of interrogatories that Mr. Boyd, the contestant, has served on Dr. Cole that he will respond to."
"I've asked the court to reduce the number. He served 479 interrogatories. It's not a complicated issue," Agricola said. "It's about where does he live. If you can't answer that in 50 questions, I think there's a problem."
David Driscoll, Cole's campaign manager, told 256Today in October, "Doctor David Cole legally meets all requirements to be the Republican nominee and candidate in District 10."
Barry Ragsdale, Boyd's attorney, said in an interview, "Normally, these election contests get resolved very quickly," and Cole has "done everything in his power and frankly some things outside of his power to delay this and keep it from happening so that we can get to the bottom of where he really lived."
"One of the things he says in his petition is 'It's a simple question of where I lived for a year before the election.' I would think it would be but for some reason we've now been to the Supreme Court twice and he's fought every effort to actually answer that question so this is in keeping with that I'll just say that," Ragsdale said.
Madison County Circuit Judge Ruth Ann Hall said in a ruling on a motion to compel on Tuesday, "the Court has reviewed the direct examination questions, cross examination questions, and the rebuttal questions and obviously recognizes that they are voluminous."
"At the same time, this Court acknowledges the difficulty of trying to draft sufficiently thorough and unambiguous questions and potential follow-up questions," Hall said. "Having reviewed the questions, the Court finds that the areas of inquiry are material and relevant to the residency issue that is the subject of this election contest and that the questions submitted are not unduly burdensome as many of these questions may not be necessarily dependent upon the initial response. The Court further finds that requiring Cole to respond to these questions is consistent with the purposes of the Alabama election contest statutes."
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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