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Man alleging misconduct in LaVista Hills vote was fired from job in 2012

Annexation, new cities

Man alleging misconduct in LaVista Hills vote was fired from job in 2012

File Photo provided by Dena Mellick
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File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

File Photo provided by Dena Mellick

This story has been updated. 

The man who has triggered a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe into the LaVista Hills election was fired from his job as Director of Elections in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 2012.

Leonard Piazza, the second-highest ranking official at DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections Office, has been placed on administrative leave. He alleges it’s because he raised questions about the integrity of the Nov. 3 LaVista Hills referendum, which was defeated by 136 votes. His boss, Maxine Daniels, said he was placed on leave due to an unrelated personnel issue.

Piazza has not returned messages from Decaturish seeking comment.

According to an article by The Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Piazza was fired two weeks before a primary vote in 2012. According to the article, “the decision appears to be connected to Piazza’s attempt to audit the campaign finances of county Controller Walter L. Griffith Jr., who in December started reviewing Piazza’s attendance records as part of a payroll audit of 378 county employees.” To read the full story, click here.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that there was allegedly a memory card that wasn’t secured at the Briarlake Elementary precinct. To read that story, click here. While split precincts led to some confusion on Tuesday’s vote, Briarlake was not one of them. Precinct-by-precinct results of the referendum show that Briarlake precinct was split almost down the middle, with 378 “Yes” votes to 313 “No” votes.

In an email to LaVista Hills political consultant Steve Schultz, Piazza alleged that he’d been placed on leave as retaliation for questioning the outcome of the election. “Upon questioning the integrity of the LaVista Hills Incorporation Ballot Question earlier today, I was dismissed from work and subsequently placed on paid administrative leave,” Piazza wrote.

On Nov. 5, the GBI visited the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office and confiscated voting machines and a server.

If there’s evidence of tampering with the election that could’ve altered the outcome, the result could be thrown out and there would have to be another vote, according to the AJC.

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