STATESVILLE The Iredell County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 Tuesday night to appoint former longtime commissioner Sara Haire Tice to complete the final weeks of commissioner Renee Griffith's term on the board.
Griffith announced her resignation on Aug. 8 after admitting she falsified a building inspection form related to her private Christian school in Statesville. But Griffith refused to have her name taken off the Nov. 6 general election ballot, saying voters should decide whether to keep her on the board.
Commissioner Marvin Norman nominated Tice to complete Griffith's term, after commissioners' Chairman Steve Johnson said county residents "have never had to endure such an embarrassment on the board of commissioners" as caused by Griffith.
By law, Johnson said, the county clerk of courts would have had to appoint Griffith's replacement had the commissioners not acted Monday night.
Commissioner Marvin Norman urged voters to fill in Tice's name on the write-in line on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Griffith initially told state officials the falsification was the fault of a former employee but later admitted she fabricated that story, the (Statesville) Record & Landmark has reported.
Elected officials from across the county joined other registered voters in August in signing a petition urging the Iredell County Board of Elections to add a line to the Nov. 6 ballot allowing for a write-in candidate.
The initiative required the signatures of 100 registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, and the Board of Elections ended up certifying 272 signatures, Mooresville commissioner Mac Herring said.
The petition asked the board to add the write-in line so the petitioners could add Tice's name to the write-in line in November, Herring said.