Lee Sheriff's campaign gets nasty - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee Sheriff's campaign gets nasty

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November 1, 2004

Leesburg-- Jimmy Kerfoot called the media this morning, less than 24 hours before the election. He's says a full page ad that was printed in the Lee County Ledger is false. The ad, paid for by supporters of long-time Sheriff Harold Breeden, claims Kerfoot has a criminal arrest record and is the subject of 22 civil lawsuits. Kerfoot says it's lies.

Sheriff Candidate Jimmy Kerfoot is upset with this full page ad printed in The Lee County Ledger, a week before elections. "We are running out of time for everything they've put me through, we've got a couple things we need to do."

Those couple of things include hiring an Attorney. Kerfoot is threatening to sue the city, county and all the people who signed the ad. "Quite honestly, the article has done just that, it's damaged Mr. Kerfoot significantly because of the falsehoods that are represented in the article," said Kerfoot's Attorney John Cromer Durham.

The ad claims Kerfoot has been arrested three times. "Mr. Kerfoot has never been handcuffed, Mr. Kerfoot has never been taken to the jail, Mr. Kerfoot has never had his Miranda rights read to him which are necessary for his proper arrest," Durham said.

While Kerfoot's attorney claims it wasn't a proper arrest, Kerfoot's opponent, Sheriff Harold Breeden says that's a lie. Asked if he been arrested before, and as he been in the Lee County Jail before, Sheriff Harold Breeden replied: "Yes, he has, he has been in my jail."

And the Sheriff provided a mug shot to prove it. According to Sheriff Breeden's records, the photo was taken in 1999 when Kerfoot was charged with terroristic threats; charges which were later dropped.

The sheriff also produced several other incident reports ranging from harassing phone calls to disorderly conduct. In each case all those charges were also dropped.

Also on the ad, Breeden's supporters claim there are more than 20 civil lawsuits against Kerfoot.

Mr. Kerfoot has not had 22 lawsuits against him and this is another reason that everyone who signed this petition will now be subject to the civil suit," said Durham.

"My department has served 20 something civil lawsuits on him," said Breeden. And here's the stack provided by the man Kerfoot is trying to unseat. "They are public record," Breeden said.

When and if Kerfoot actually files a lawsuit, his lawyer says he will seek punitive and general damages. If Jimmy Kerfoot sues and wins, his lawyer says the money will go toward the Lee County Children's Athletic Association.

But again, no suit has yet been filed.

posted at 4:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com