Ryder Speaks Concerning Stanford

In a recent phone interview, Leon County Judge Byron Ryder said that he has spoken again to County Commissioner Dean Stanford and advised him to resign his position for the good of the county and all concerned.

Stanford came into the spotlight earlier this month when he plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Assault Causing Bodily Injury. The incident, which was reported by the victim, Stanford?s wife, occurred earlier this year. The charges were agreed upon and adjudicated with a visiting judge and a special prosecutor from the Attorney General?s Office. Local judges and officials in Leon County had recused themselves from the case due to knowing both parties.

Ryder also said that he is aware of citizens who plan to attend the next Commissioner Court meeting on October 31st, with a lengthy petition for the removal of Stanford from office. ?They have every right to be in court with their request,? said Ryder. ?And the court will hear them, but from what I know of their petition, it was not done through the legal channels.?

According to Ryder, a petition to remove an official from an elected office must be made through the district court and signed on by a district judge. ?It?s a simple piece of paper,? explained Ryder, ?but it is the legal process.? The signatures can be from any citizen, but the signatures that are signed ?anonymous? will not be considered.

Ryder also said that the law allows for the removal of an elected official from office when that official has been convicted of a felony concerning his duties of office. Since the conviction against Stanford is a misdemeanor and does not concern his duties in office, it would be at the discretion of the district judge as to the outcome.

Contacted for comment, Stanford said he had no comment except to say, ?I have a duty to serve the residents of Precinct 3 as I was elected to do.?