Judge: Remove Kim Murphy from Lexington-Richland 5 board - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Judge: Remove Kim Murphy from Lexington-Richland 5 board

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A judge presiding over a hearing to determine if Lexington-Richland 5 board member Kim Murphy lives in Richland or Lexington County has recommended she be removed from the board.

Following a report from the Budget and Control Board that indicated Murphy lives in Lexington County, Judge Thomas Cooper says having Murphy remain on the board could open up "numerous potential negative legal problems" for the district.

Murphy was elected to the board as a representative of Richland County. However, the B&CB's research shows "no doubt" her home is in Lexington County.

"This is really not a very difficult call," said Sid Miller, state and county boundary coordinator for the B&CB. "This house is 500 feet from the line." 

Lexington-Richland 5 board members will meet Tuesday to discuss the next chapter in this ongoing saga.

Murphy's attorney, Todd Kincannon, called Tuesday's meeting a "show trial."

Kincannon claims Cooper was not acting as a judge during the Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing that laid out the B&CB's research because he was a judge hired by the district as merely a hearing officer to offer recommendations. 

Murphy and Kincannon did not attend that hearing, and Kincannon says they did not appear because they believe the only entity they should be presenting a case to is Lexington-Richland 5.

Kincannon continued, saying the district "invented the process" and are "making it up as they go along" because they are trying to "steal an election."

The attorney went further, claiming the whole issue is a waste of taxpayer money because the county lines are "all over the place" and the precinct lines don't even match the county lines.

He also charged the process Lexington Richland 5 has chosen to follow in this case violates the Voting Rights Act because he says the district must get pre-clearance from the Department of Justice to remove someone from office.

Kincannon says he and Murphy will attend Tuesday's meeting, and it appears this issue is far from over, according to the attorney. 

"We're going all the way with this one," Kincannon said.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the district administration's board room.

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