Meade Co. Clerk candidate will remain on ballot but votes may no - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Meade Co. Clerk candidate will remain on ballot but votes may not count

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BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) - A judge in Meade County will allow a candidate in a disputed race for County Clerk to remain on the ballot.

But after a hearing on Thursday, the case is far from over.

Voters in Meade County will be allowed to vote for Susan Masterson for County Clerk, but it's still not clear whether those votes will ultimately count.

"Basically it's always been a rumor," said Meade Co. voter Patricia Schutt, who filed the suit.

Schutt says she found the documents that confirmed the rumor that Masterson is a convicted felon and not qualified by law to run for office.

That's when she decided to go to court.

"Miss Masterson stole money from the bank, and this is the consequence," Schutt's attorney, Jason Nemes, argued before Judge Bruce Butler.

Masterson, who was then Susan Hager, pleaded guilty in 1993 to a federal charge of embezzlement.

She stole $5,000 from the Army National Bank at Ft. Knox where she worked.

But under questioning from her attorney, Kent Wicker, Masterson testified that under her plea deal, the charge was reduced to misdemeanor.

"When you made the decision to run for public office, did you believe that you were a felon?" Wicker said.

"No, I did not believe that at all," replied Masterson.

But Judge Bruce Butler said, based on the evidence he saw, he could not decide.

"I'm not satisfied enough to stop an election based on evidence that this is, or is not, a felony," he said.

The judge scheduled a second hearing after the election.

So Masterson will remain on the ballot, but Butler ordered that the results not be certified until the case is decided.

"I'm pleased with verdict today, and I will continue on with my campaign," Masterson said following the hearing.

"She is a felon. If she receives the most votes, we're very confident that she will not be able to take the office," Nemes said.

The second hearing is set for Nov. 14, ten days after the election.

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