The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office confirmed it is investigating former mayoral candidate Olivia Holmes Ware, whose case was under review by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to see if criminal charges should be brought.
A spokesperson with the Secretary of State’s office confirmed it has received information from the GBI and has an open case on Ware.
City Manager Tony Lucas said the city had received word Wednesday afternoon that the GBI had reached out to the SOS, which has a division that investigates election issues.
City Attorney Mike Waldrop said the SOS would conduct its own investigation.
"They’ll come to their own independent conclusion." If they recommend criminal charges, the matter would be referred to the District Attorney’s office. If it is decided criminal charges are not needed, the matter might be referred to the state
Attorney General’s office or other office, said Waldrop.
Ware was disqualified Sept. 25 after an administrative hearing that reviewed several addresses that Ware appeared to hold within the past year. Mayoral candidates are required to be registered voters in the city and have lived in the city for at least a year.
The addresses appeared to conflict with each other and were given on signed and sworn affidavits for Rockdale and Newton County courts and agencies. Lying on a sworn affidavit can carry a felony charge.
After the hearing but before she was disqualified, Ware had filed a civil lawsuit against the city. The city in turn filed a counter lawsuit against her. Ware then dropped her lawsuit, writing, "I humbly apologize for any inconvenience that it nay [sic] have cause [sic] the City of Conyers."
During that time, the city racked up $10,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses relating to Ware’s case. The information in the case was turned over to the GBI.
"It seemed more appropriate to take a step back, let an impartial agency take a fresh look at it," to determine whether there were criminal charges to prosecute, said City Attorney Mike Waldrop in a previous interview.