Candidate Hisel’s residency challenged

Published 6:58 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2008

At least one Selma resident has raised questions about the residency of a candidate for president of the Selma City Council.

Sherrette Spicer of Selma said she believes Gene Hisel registered his papers using false information.

Spicer said Hisel does not live at the address which he claims on documents filed with the Selma City Clerk.

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“He has filed under false information,” Spicer told The Selma Times-Journal on Tuesday.

The accusation comes a day after HIsel held a press conference on the steps of the Federal Building and called for storage of voting machines in a neutral site.

When contacted late Tuesday afternoon, Hisel said he had made a mistake when he filled out papers showing his address 322 Lamar Ave., Selma

“I was buying some property at 322 Alabama and got the two mixed up. I leased a place at 318 Lamar Ave.,” he said. “I just got confused.”

Hisel, a Selma businessmen, maintains a residence in Valley Grande. He signed a lease Jan. 2 with Swan Properties LLC for an apartment at 318 Lamar Ave. for a year. Hisel said he is a registered voter in Selma.

The candidate isn’t the first in Alabama to run up against challenges because of questions over legal residency.

In November a judge ruled against a lawsuit by an opposition candidate to Mayor Larry Langford in the race for Birmingham’s chief executive.

The opponent, Patrick Cooper, argued that Langford never abandoned his home in Fairfield before qualifying for the Birmingham mayor’s race.

Landford had rented a loft at Blach’s Building on 20th Street North in Birmingham on June 4 before the election on Oct. 9, 2007. He changed his voter registration to the Birmingham address on June 7. His wife did the same thing.

The judge ruled in the Langford case that “domicile is largely a matter of intent.”

This is not the first time Hisel has run for public office in Selma. He ran for mayor four years ago against incumbent Mayor James Perkins Jr.