DETROIT (WWJ) — The fight to get Warren Evans off the upcoming primary ballot for Wayne County Executive is likely over.
Judge Robert Colombo tossed out a lawsuit that claimed Evans should not be on the ballot because he did not establish residency in the county 30 days before the filing deadline. The suit was filed by former Canton Township supervisor Thomas Yack.
“The fact of the matter is that Warren in his affidavit clearly stated that he moved back into the county on January 19,” Evans’ attorney John Perich said. “There’s absolutely no evidence that refuted anything other than what he said and that he’s qualified to run for the office, and the court has reaffirmed that qualification.”
Perich said that despite the opposition, his client is still the best option for county residents.
“They got, I guess, a little bit of publicity,” Perich said. “But, the reality is that publicity shouldn’t detract from the qualifications of Warren Evans and his campaign and that’s what he’s going to do — he’s going to campaign to the last day.”
Evans added that he never lost confidence.
“I thought that we were correct on the law all along,” Evans said. “It’s unfortunate that these frivolous lawsuits go forward sometimes, but I didn’t lack any confidence before and obviously I feel fine now.”
Perich said that it would have cost the county some cash to kick the former Wayne County sheriff off the ballot.
“If you’re going to bring an election case, you have a duty to do it before the county incurs the expense that it has to date — somewhere between $3,000 and $9,000,” Perich said. “Number two, you have a duty to do it before people cast their votes.”
Judge Colombo said the lawsuit was filed too late. There is another hearing Monday morning in a lawsuit filed against Evans by another executive candidate Phil Cavanaugh.
WWJ’s legal analyst Charlie Langton pointed out that Colombo noted that the challengers of the case waited 18 days before the election and that it would have cost the city $300,000 to reprint the ballots.
“Worse off, ballots have already gone out and some absentees have already voted,” Langton said.
Besides the lateness of the case, Colombo said that Evans did qualify under the law to be placed on the ballot.
Langton said that it is unknown whether or not the challengers will appeal the ruling with the election being held on August 5.