News 12 at 11 O'clock / Tuesday, August 29, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The race for Richmond County sheriff took another turn Tuesday as Georgia's Secretary of State's Office says it's investigating Richard Roundtree for vote buying.
Latasha Moore told Richmond County investigators she was at a Roundtree campaign event at Dogwood Terrace when she was approached by Jerry Lee Jordan. The report alleges Jordan promised Moore a car if she could get her and four others to the polls to vote for Lt. Roundtree.
Moore also told investigators she "found and encouraged several others" to vote for Roundtree and even got "elections certificates" proving her vote.
The report says she then contacted Jordan, who denied her a car because "the candidate had lost by 1,000 votes."
News 12 spoke to Moore several times on the phone. Initially, she was irate at the media for calling her, but then told News 12 she wanted to clear the air and says she's not accusing Roundtree himself of anything. However, she denied an on-camera interview.
Roundtree also denied an interview but released this statement:
"I am not aware of nor have I been contacted by anyone from Secretary of State Office regarding my campaign. However, I am aware of an incident report filed with the Sheriff's Office. I find the report to be so absurd that I will not add any credibility to it by commenting any further to its content. I look forward to continuing my campaign, and I ask that the voters will support me in November."
The Secretary of State's Office also told News 12 it's too early to tell what the consequences would be if Roundtree is found guilty.
A member of Roundtree's camp told News 12 they don't even know who Jordan is.
Roundtree beat out Cpt. Scott Peebles in the Democratic race on Aug. 21 by less than 450 votes. Roundtree is supposed to face off with Republican candidate Freddie Sanders in November. Sanders just received the endorsement from Sheriff Ronnie Strength.