Former Iredell County Commissioner remains on campaign trail after resigning

by: Holly Maynard Updated:

Loading

IREDELL, N.C. - A former Iredell County Commissioner is back on the campaign trail, two months after she resigned.

Republican Renee Griffith resigned in August, one day after all of the other Iredell County commissioners voted to ask her to step down over a controversy at the schools he worked at.

Jason Abernethy, the Republican party chairman, personally asked her to resign.

"I thought that what she did was unethical. I thought what she did was not a good representation of an elected official in Iredell County, and I thought she lost the trust of the people of this county," Abernethy said.

Abernethy was talking about something Griffith did earlier this year when she was the director at Cornerstone Christian Academy's preschool. When the school wanted to convert some rooms to classrooms, Griffith changed the date on an older building inspection and turned that in to the state. When the state realized what happened, Griffith blamed it on an employee who didn't exist.

Griffith later admitted her mistake to the state and resigned as director of the preschool.

"There is no excuse for my actions," Griffith told Eyewitness News. But she said her mistake shouldn't affect her role with the county. "I think people are tired of politicians who act like they have no faults. I think people want to see real people, and real people make mistakes," she said. She also said the choice should be up to the voters.

Griffith said she told commissioners she would end her candidacy if her seat was filled by the person who won the next highest amount of votes in the May Republican primary, Gene Houpe. She said that would have preserved the electoral process. However, county leaders filled the seat with Sara Haire Tice, a former commissioner. Abernethy said the bylaws for the Republican party tell them how to replace the candidate, not the person stepping off the ballot.

He also said there is no mandate saying who the replacement should be. The board gets to make the decision.

Voters in Iredell County had differing opinions about Griffith's campaign run. Mary Cash said she didn't think she should run, but also said, She did admit it, and that's good on her part."

Chuck Goode said he would be skeptical of her leadership if she were to win.

You always have to question that integrity when you don't follow the correct rules and regulations," he said.