Annapolis Ward 6 Alderman Ken Kirby's residency and campaign filings are in dispute after a petition and letters to the The Board of Supervisors of Elections were filed this month.
A petition filed by 22 residents of Ward 6 alleges that his residency remains in question, more than a year after questions were raised over whether he truly lived in the district he represents.
A meeting of the elections board Wednesday night will address the issues raised regarding Kirby's campaign filing requirements, Kirby said.
"I stand by the merits of my residency, and everything else," Kirby said. "I believe this is the same type of smear campaign from prior years."
The issue was raised by Scott Bowling, a former 2009 alderman candidate for Ward 3, who referred to himself as a concerned citizen in an interview with Patch.
"I think it's important that if we're going to have rules, we should follow them," Bowling said.
Bowling said he broached the matter with the elections board at the time Kirby's residency was first called into question, but was told that because Kirby was a sitting alderman, the board's hands were tied.
In Feburary 2012, Board Chairman Mike Parmele said the board would not take action at the time because it was not the appropriate body.
“But there being no pending primary or election in the city of Annapolis, the Board of Supervisors of Elections is not the appropriate body to investigate or make a determination of a sitting alderman’s qualifications to serve,” Parmele said.
Now that Kirby is a candidate for the 2013 city election, Bowling reinitialized his pursuit.
Bowling said over the past two years, Kirby's campaign filings have been late and incomplete, and according to the city's code, an incomplete filing is effectively a failure to file.
"If Daryl Jones was removed from the council because of that, why should it be any different for Ken Kirby?" Bowling asked.
Jones, a former Anne Arundel County Councilman, had his District 1 seat vacated in January 2012 a few days before he was to begin serving five months in federal prison for failure to file federal tax returns. At the time, the council vacated his seat on the grounds that he would not be living in the district he represents at the time of his prison sentence. Jones has since challenged the manner in which he was removed, and the Maryland State Court of Appeals deemed the method "improper."
Bowling also noted that Kirby’s campaign contributions and disbursements did not seem above board, with several disbursements made to himself for $20 and $40.
In response to Bowling's accusations, Kirby said that he believed the Board of Election would "exonerate" him Wednesday night. He said he felt he was being targeted.
Bowling, however said the paperwork he had assembled gave the Board of Election little choice over what to do.
“It is truly not possible for them to look at two years of failure to file and think that that’s okay,” Bowling said.
If Kirby's paperwork is deemed invalid, he could be removed as a candidate in the upcoming city election.