(4-1-21) The May primary for the Mayor of Lima has become a real ‘soap opera’. Today added yet another chapter. A lawsuit was filed today questioning the legal residency of candidate Elizabeth Hardesty.

Press Release

Today, former Lima City Law Director and Lima attorney, Richard Siferd, filed a lawsuit in the Allen County Court of Common Pleas against the Allen County Board of Elections, the Election Board members, the City of Lima and Elizabeth Hardesty regarding the Election Board’s decision to allow Hardesty’s name to appear on the May Primary ballot even though she does not meet the qualifications for elected officials set in the Lima City Charter.

In a tweet from WIMA-AM this afternnon –

According to a Lima News story today, the lawsuit claims Hardesty lived in the following locations –

• Houston, Texas, from 2006-2010;

• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2011-2015, where she purchased a home;

• Houston, Texas, from 2016 to the present.

Hardesty still considers Lima her “home” and used her mother’s house as an address on Lincoln Avenue to establish residency, allowing her to vote in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020.

This just one of the storylines facing Lima voters.

Another candidate, Autumn Swanson (41) was arrested in late February and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to maintain reasonable control.

After her arrest her campaign made the following statement –

“While the circumstances of this incident are pending legal review, the Swanson Campaign stands firmly behind Autumn Swanson’s candidacy for mayor and will provide more information as we review with legal counsel. Neither Ms. Swanson, her vehicle, nor anyone else was injured or damaged.”

Swanson is actively campaigning for Mayor –

A third candidate, according to a hometownstations.com story, has also had some legal issues, Joshua Hayes. The first arrest occurred on or about January 30th, 2019, where Hayes was arrested for Driving Under Suspension. The second arrest occurred on or about April 8th, 2019 where he was arrested for Lane Straddling and Distracted Driving. The final arrest occurred on or about February 3rd, 2020 where Hayes was arrested for possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Recently Hayes received a one-year suspension for multiple violation counts in Mid to Late February on his chiropractor license.

Hayes like Swanson is also still campaigning…

Smith

The Lima Mayor is a non-partisan position, the four candidates Swanson, Hayes, Hardesty and Sharetta Smith (Chief of Staff for the City of Lima under Lima Mayor David Berger) are all running for mayor on the May Primary ballot. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary will face off in November to replace outgoing Mayor David Berger.