DeKalb County resident and Yale graduate student Charles Hill, who recently lost the mayor’s race to Jason Lary for the newly formed city of Stonecrest March 21, said he plans to seek legal action after a mailer regarding Hill’s mental state was sent out days prior to the election.
The mailer states that Hill was declared mentally ill by a licensed psychiatrist and that he is manic-depressive, bipolar and has cyclothymic disorder.
Hill said when he found out about the mailer his “heart dropped” and said he plans on taking legal action against whomever is responsible.
“I am seeking legal action and I’m filing a complaint with the Georgia Ethics Commission,” said Hill in an interview with The Champion. “I’ve seen some negative mailers in the past, but this went beyond a dirty mailer. This was meant to hurt me personally.”
Hill said he was told the mailer was sent by a mailing house but he can’t identify the origin.
“The person who owns [the mailing house] says he can’t identify the person because they paid in cash,” Hill said “We do plan on trying to pursue every angle possible so we can bring this person to justice.”
One of Hill’s opponents, Lary, said he regrets how the mayoral race played out. Soon after the mailer was sent, Lary emailed a press release denying his involvement with the mailer.
“I do have one regret. I regret the mayor’s race wasn’t like the race from districts one through five. They never slandered each other and just ran on their issues,” Lary said. “The stuff with the flyer and me having to put out my personal information, that’s not how I envisioned this going. I was not happy about that.”
In a press release, Lary said the mailer was disgusting and has no place in Stonecrest.
“Yes, we may disagree on city issues, neighborhood problems and the way in which to go about getting the job done. Even so, with this recent development, I could not remain silent. Healthy competition and political debate are one thing, but this disgusting mailer crosses the line,” Lary said in his statement.
DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon also released a statement saying one of the organizations she is involved with had no affiliation with the mailer. On the flyer, the sender’s name appears as Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb.
“Recently a political flyer has been circulated that smears a candidate in the Stonecrest city elections. The individual who circulated this flyer uses the term ‘Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb’ in the organization’s name. I want it to be crystal clear: There is no relationship or connection between that smear political mailer and the Blueprint to Redefine DeKalb, which accomplished so much,” Gannon said in a statement.
The mailer also used a photo of Anthony Hill and compared him to Charles Hill. In the photo it states “Hill was confronted by police as he walked around naked in his apartment complex.” Below the photo is a disclaimer that says Anthony Hill and Charles Hill are not the same person, but have the same disorder.
Anthony Hill was a 27-year-old veteran who was shot by police. Currently that officer has been charged with two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of violation of oath by public officer and making a false statement.
“I think that’s the part that hurt the most. Not just for my family but for [Anthony Hill’s] family as well. I know they’re still hurting from that,” Hill said. “I think someone was trying to send a message. This is what happens when young people try to run for election. Someone benefited from this mailer and it wasn’t me.”
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