Write-in candidate John Jones won the six-year Board of Supervisors seat in Fairview Township, beating former police chief Scott Hockenberry.
“I think the people were upset and they had a choice and at least we gave them a choice with the write in,” said John Jones, new Fairview Township Supervisor.
Jones and Supervisor Bob Stanley paid for a billboard along I-83, that encouraged voters to go to http://www.truthabouthckenberry.com. A website that laid out Hockenberry's alleged transgressions while he was police chief. Hockenberry was fired last year for conduct unbecoming a police officer.
Although Jones won it was a close race.
“Forty-two votes. That's pretty close, but it was like 1,244 people that wrote my name in, which is impressive,” said Jones.
Hockenberry has filed a libel lawsuit against Jones and Fairview Township Supervisors.
“I think the lawsuit brought out the Friday before the election was perfect timing for us, but bad timing for Scott, because you want to work for a township but your suing them for a million and a half dollars,” said Jones.
Jones will take oath and start his new position in January.
The vote is still unofficial. It should be certified by November 25.
Hockenberry released this statement to abc27 news:
“It saddens me that my opponents have sunk to political tricks, plotting to undermine the integrity of this race by intentionally misleading the voters.
My opponents' actions were nothing more than a deliberate and sustained process that aimed to destroy my credibility by employing a mix of open and covert methods to achieve their goals, by raising false accusations planting and fostering rumors, and manipulating information about me.
Their actions have caused harm to my life and my reputation.
In addition to damaging my good name, my opposition has caused me embarrassment, distress and humiliation at the tarnishing of a reputation for integrity which I have built up over a lifetime.
My opposition spread false statements about me, lowering my estimation in the eyes of the community and perpetrating libelous and slanderous statements to impute the impression that I partook in conduct unfit to my chosen profession as a police officer.
My opposition's negative actions were nothing less than a smear campaign that resulted in a virtual unknown write-in candidate winning this election. Why else would I have trailed in last place after spending months as the front-runner and apparent shoo-in before tanking in the polls.
I am exercising my right to defend myself from distortions and lies that my opponents have made about me. The legal system is my only answer.
My opposition's libelous and slanderous lies and mistruths are now left to the court to decide.
Through the legal process, I expect a total vindication of my name and reputation.”