Address Snellville councilman gave on qualifying application questioned

LAWRENCEVILLE - The district attorney's office has wrapped up an investigation into whether a Snellville councilman broke the law when he signed up to vote and run for office.

At issue is whether Councilman Robert Jenkins supplied election officials with a false home address.

The county Board of Registrations and Elections studied the matter in November and said Jenkins had done nothing that would stop him from voting. Shortly after, he was elected to the council.

A complaint has since been filed with the district attorney's office, which conducted an investigation to see if Jenkins broke any criminal laws.

District Attorney Danny Porter confirmed the investigation on Thursday.

Porter said his office reviewed whether Jenkins made false statements on his qualifying application for the council race, on his campaign financial disclosure statements, and on his voter registration form.

"The investigation is complete, and the investigator has referred the file for my review, and I'll have a decision within the next two weeks," Porter said.

Jenkins' attorney, David Puglise, said his client has done nothing wrong and welcomes the investigation.

"Mr. Jenkins believes that when a citizen makes a complaint about a public official it should be fully investigated, so we fully respect that the district attorney's office is investigating this," Puglise said.

"We fully expect that this matter will be resolved in favor of Mr. Jenkins and in accordance with applicable case law."

The complaint was filed with the district attorney's office by former Snellville Councilman Joe Anderson, Puglise said.

A message left Thursday at Anderson's home was not returned before press time.

A political rival of Jenkins, Anderson also filed the earlier complaint with the county elections board.

At that time, Anderson claimed Jenkins was ineligible to vote or run for office because he failed to change his home address after he got a divorce in 2004 and moved from a house he shared with his wife on Ridgedale Drive.

Puglise said Jenkins moved to another spot in the city, but continued to get mail at his ex-wife's residence on Ridgedale Drive. Under state law, that means Ridgedale Drive qualifies as Jenkin's domicile for voting and election purposes, Puglise said.

Jenkins continued using the Ridgedale Drive address to vote after he moved out of his ex-wife's house, and he used it when he filed to run for City Council last October.

One month later Anderson lodged a complaint with elections officials, and shortly before the elections board was to hear the matter, Jenkins changed the home address on his voter registration to Sussex Court.

The elections board said Jenkins was qualified to vote and could therefore run for office.

The district attorney's office is looking at the same issues, but instead of deciding whether Jenkins has his paperwork in order so he can vote, it is looking for criminal violations.

"They were looking at whether or not he was qualified to vote and qualified to run for office," Porter said. "I'm looking at whether or not he intentionally committed a crime."