Stonecrest council approves election date to choose new mayor

Stonecrest City Councilmembers approved a special election date of May 24 to fill the position of mayor that was recently vacated by Jason Lary.

The vote authorizes “Dekalb County Board of Registrations and Elections to conduct the City of Stonecrest Special Election expected to be held on May 24,” through an intergovernmental agreement.

The unexpired term runs through the end of 2023.

According to information provided, the qualifying fee for each mayoral candidate will be $600, or 3 percent of total gross salary of the office paid in 2021. Qualifying dates have not been set, but city documents state qualifying dates will be set at least 35 days prior to the special election and that the dates must end 25 days prior to the election.

A runoff will be held June 21, if necessary, according to councilmembers. City officials said the last day to register to vote in this election is April 25.

Lary resigned from the position amid a federal investigation into Stonecrest’s CARES Act distribution that charged Lary—the first mayor of Stonecrest—with wire fraud, conspiracy, and federal program theft. According to city of Stonecrest’s charter, the mayoral vacancy must be filled by a special election because it occurred more than 12 months before the next election.

Lary and Lania Boone, a former bookkeeper for the entity that administered COVID-19 relief funds awarded to Stonecrest, both pleaded guilty to charges related to the theft of pandemic relief funds.

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