Newly elected Forest Park politician denies trading alcohol for votes

A newly elected member of the Forest Park City Council is pushing back against allegations she and other candidates traded alcohol for votes in last week's elections.

Kimberly James told Channel 2 Action News reporter Nicole Carr said charges made by her opponent, former Forest Park Councilman Tommy Smith, that she and the city’s mayor-elect provided alcohol to voters were outrageous.

“I haven’t even been sworn in yet and I think this is my first opportunity to be a voice for our community and say our community isn’t like that,” James told Carr in an interview Monday.

Smith made the allegations last week after his loss to James for the seat. Smith filed a complaint with Clayton County Superior Court alleging James and mayor-elect Angelyne Butler provided alcohol to voters in a low-income community before taking them to the polls, Carr reported.

Butler declined to comment because she had not received the complaint.

“It’s easy to swallow a loss,” Smith told Carr in an interview. “But when you know what’s going on -- they knew they won the race before they even started counting the ballots.”

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