Voter Registrar resigns

Published 6:14 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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Charlotte County’s Voter Registrar Eric Goode has resigned following a show cause court case between him and Electoral Board Secretary Dean Foster.

Goode submitted his resignation on Friday, Dec. 3, immediately following his court appearance.

“Mr. Goode submitted his resignation for unknown reasons, effective Dec. 31,” said County Administrator Dan Witt. “I met with him late that day and placed him on administrative leave, with pay.”

Over the past year, Foster has alleged Goode has mismanaged the county registrar’s office, violated election laws and falsified his timesheets.

A call to Goode at the Registrar’s office has not been returned as of press time.

Goode, who has served as Registrar since the fall of 2020 following the retirement of Nan Lambert, took out a protective order against Foster on Nov. 8 after he said Foster followed him when he left his office on several occasions.

In his letter of resignation, Goode wrote that he was being forced out of a job and denied any wrongdoing while serving as voter registrar.

In addition, Goode asked that no legal action be brought against him.

“No legal action will be brought on against me as I have indicated as I am being forced to re-sign against my wishes. I do not admit to any wrongdoing by signing this statement. I sign this statement as I wish to go on with my life and my ability to live.”

According to Foster, his attorney John Jansen requested Goode to resign.

According to Witt, the electoral board is scheduled to meet later this week with the possibility of discussing advertising and the replacement of the Registrar.

The Registrar’s office and electoral board have seen their share of issues over the past year.

Earlier this year, the electoral board’s chairperson resigned, citing he was moving, while just months ago, one member of the three-member board also resigned.

Concerns of spending in the Registrar’s office have also been brought up by the Board of Supervisors (BOS).

In an unprecedented move, the BOS unanimously voted to unappropriate funds to the Voter Registrar’s FY21/22 budget during its Monday, May 10 meeting, citing concerns of overspending by the office.

The $15,275 removed on a motion by Supervisor Kay Pierantoni was originally earmarked for new electronic poll books.

“I am concerned for the use of taxpayer’s money,” Pierantoni said during that meeting, “In addition to a healthy budget, $51,450.00 was awarded to the Registrar in CARES funding and $20,034.00 in a grant this year.

It was during the December 2020 BOS meeting that Goode and former electoral members Larry Clark and Bob Bradner addressed the BOS to justify the spending of more than $10,000 in bonuses as hazard pay to the Registrar, the former Registrar, the workers in the office and the Electoral Board themselves.

During that meeting, Goode suggested he would receive $3,000 based on exposure from July 1, 2020, until Nov. 25 2020. His staff would receive $10,300 calculated from their first day of employment until Nov. 25. The former Registrar would receive $1,800 for service from July 1 to Aug. 31 and consultations beginning on Oct. 5, amounting to $1,200. Board members would receive $750 each based on the days they were exposed from July 1 to Nov. 25.

According to Goode, the Electoral Board also approved a pay increase from $8 per hour to $11 per hour for the chief and $10 per hour for officers working the early voting precinct.