A former political opponent of Macon City Councilwoman Elaine Lucas filed an ethics complaint against her Monday with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
According to a copy of the complaint, the Rev. Victor Hunt, who unsuccessfully ran against Lucas for the council’s Ward I, Post 3 seat in the 2007 Democratic primary, wrote that Lucas accused Hunt of being on drugs and of not paying child support in a July 3 Facebook posting.
Lucas’ Facebook post, which doesn’t specifically name Hunt, mentions “the title of a book about a minister who is behind in child support and is on drugs ... who (is) helping Republican candidates against Democratic ones. If you know the title, please share. Sometimes these novels take on the air of reality, don’t they?”
Hunt said he is supporting former Telegraph reporter Chris Horne, who is running against Lucas in the July 19 Democratic primary. Lucas has previously accused Horne of being supported by Republicans, and Horne last week asked the county’s Democratic Party to remove Lucas as an officer from its board because of the accusations.
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In an e-mail Monday to Horne, Bibb County Democratic Party Chairman Daryl Morton affirmed that Horne and Lucas are both “properly qualified Democratic candidates.”
Morton added that the party remains neutral in the race, and that Horne’s charge against Lucas would be discussed at the party’s next meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.
Lucas, contacted Monday about Hunt’s ethics charge, would say little about the situation.
“Was his name on there?” she asked about her Facebook post. “This is a publicity stunt. That is all I’m going to say about this.”
Hunt, president of the United Churches of East Macon, said in the complaint that he is in the process of paying child support in arrears for his 23-year-old child. He also wrote “I am definitely NOT on drugs.”
Hunt wrote in the complaint that Lucas has tried twice asking for his support, but he is giving his support to Horne. Hunt told The Telegraph that even though Lucas didn’t name Hunt in the Facebook post, he is certain she is referring to him.
“I’m the only minister that fits that bill that’s supporting Chris openly,” Hunt said. “Personally, I feel that the church ought to be outraged because it’s an attack on the church and ministers.”
Even if Lucas wasn’t referring to Hunt, “it is unethical of Mrs. Lucas to publicly chastise preachers who have supported her over the years. ... The negative impact that her words could have on me personally, both as a potential pastor and as a citizen in this community, could be devastating. It is false accusations such as this one that tarnish the reputation and credibility of ministers and the church as a whole and hinder the church in its evangelistic mission.”
Hunt said he would leave the matter to the state ethics commission. Attempts to reach the commission after business hours Monday were unsuccessful.
Staff writer Mike Stucka contributed to this report. To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.