GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)- Pitt County Commissioner is called into question for his place of residency. On Tuesday, a complaint was filed against David Hammond alleging he is not a resident of his district.
Commissioner Hammond fired back in an attempt to clear the air after a citizen, Keith Cooper filed a complaint officially challenging the commissioner’s residency.
Hammond says because of a stroke in 2010 he’s staying outside his district at the Golden Living rehab facility. Cooper wants to know how long is too long.
“How much longer does he need to rehab, does he need 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? What is temporary and that’s not clear,” Cooper said.
Aside from Cooper’s interest, Commissioner Charles Farley propelled himself into the debate.
In an email to Cooper, Farley accused Hammond of living outside his district.
“I’m not just going to take Charles Farley’s word. I want an investigation done to bring closure to this matter once and for all,” Cooper said.
The Hammonds say Cooper will face an uphill battle trying to prove his case. They say the commissioner’s move is temporary and blamed on a lack of funds to make structural accommodations for him at home.
“Everything had to be accessible to be able to go through doors, restrooms, bedding and everything, and there are not a lot of public funds to do that,” Esther Hammond said.
“I don’t want to be here, in fact, I don’t have anything that’s signed that says I couldn’t leave right this minute,” Hammond said.
“We understand that people can have questions about whether or not he is still representing that area, but we’re also asking people to be a little more compassionate and patient with someone who has been there for them for 16 years.”
Per Cooper’s question, the Director of Elections says the law does not offer a time frame for “temporary”, it relies more on intent. (ie. Does Hammond intend to abandon or return to the house?)
Now that the complaint is filed, the Board of Elections will hear it.