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Supreme Court nixes speedy hearing in Weston mayor case

by Nora Edinger

REGIONAL EDITOR

CHARLESTON -- The state Supreme Court of Appeals denied a former Weston mayor's request for a speedy hearing over a disputed city election.

Michelle Mensore, public information director for the court, said the justices voted down the motion to expedite 5-0 in a Thursday conference.

Former Mayor Terry Cogar had requested an expedited hearing because of the nature of his appeal. He is requesting a ruling that would overturn a Lewis County Circuit Court decision that confirmed Jon Tucci as mayor.

Tucci's win has been challenged since a June election, although he was sworn in July 1. He is now in the fifth month of a two-year term.

Mensore said no date has been set for a conference that will determine whether the court will actually hear the case. Cogar filed the appeal in mid-October.

He is challenging a Sept. 5 ruling by Circuit Judge Thomas Keadle that disallowed 16 absentee votes and reaffirmed Tucci as winner. Tucci has been between one and six votes ahead throughout the contest.

The core of Cogar's challenge is whether a missing city clerk's seal was a meaningless technical error, as his attorney contends, or grounds for discarding the absentee ballots. Keadle ruled that disallowing the votes was in keeping with state law.

Regional Editor Nora Edinger can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at nedinger@exponent-telegram.com.

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