By staff writer
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Editor's Note - The Georgia Record requested an urgent response over 24 hours ago from the Kandiss Taylor campaign and as of publication we have not received a response.
For weeks, there have been rumblings about the gubernatorial campaign of Kandiss Taylor regarding “lies and defamations” circulating about Taylor. Many were unaware of the nature of these issues until May 10 when Kandiss reported to a criminal arrest warrant hearing at her Appling County Magistrate Court with Judge Ronnie Lewis presiding. Taylor had personally requested this hearing to thwart the activities of an honorably-discharged military veteran residing in neighboring Tattnall County. Mr. Neil Singleton concerned her, and she wanted him arrested, yet the two had never met. What has come to light is that Singleton had pulled her public records to assist several citizens with questions concerning Taylor. He then released the records and offered some interpretations after she refused to do so herself. Kandiss Taylor filed a complaint with the Appling County Sheriff on April 22, 2022 at 2:24pm, requested a warrant hearing from the Appling County Magistrate, and then obtained a signed and sealed order from Judge Andrea Bass, who then asked the Tattnall County Sheriff to serve him by the end of that same day. That is impressive speed to accomplish all of that in 2.5 hours.
The judge's order required him to report to Taylor’s Magistrate Court in her hometown of Baxley on May 10 at 9:30am. A highlighted portion required him to “stay away absolutely directly or indirectly” from her, something Singleton guessed was related to her posting definitions of 'stalking' on her social media page. However, he claims to have done nothing to physically pursue Taylor or threaten her personal safety. Singleton contends that the protected ability of citizens to critique public information on public figures is one of the most important rights under the first amendment. Clearly, a candidate for governor should be a high-priority focus of basic public scrutiny. He felt called to perform this citizen duty on behalf of concerned citizens throughout Georgia.
The cascade of events leading to the hearing appears to have begun in late March when citizens questioned Taylor on two things: 1) her voting record and 2) her use of school sick leave.
According to sources, on April 7, Taylor asserted that she had “never voted one time for a Democrat.” Then, she proceeded to directly call the person who challenged her record “a liar.” Motivating citizens to look further, they inspected the records and found that she had, in fact, voted in Democrat primaries in the past, though the majority of her record was strong Republican. Citizens also questioned her declaration that she had “never violated the sick leave policy of Appling Schools.” She stated in March: “I have never done one thing unethical as a public school educator.” However, they found that she had logged 26 officially classified 'sick days' in 14 months and was absent nearly 50 total days. Records show that Taylor regularly takes sick leave, some multiple days at a time with no record of any doctor’s note. Several of her fellow employees contacted him that they have been disciplined for missing three days and not providing doctors’ excuses, while Taylor has not. She also took sick leave days followed by an “off contract” day so she could campaign over weekends. On the log, for example, she took 3/3/2022 as a sick day when she was traveling, as publicized on her social media. Friday, 3/4/2022 was an “off contract” day and she was in Gainesville, GA where she spent the weekend. Again, she took off 1/6/2022 - 1/7/2022, a sick day followed by “off contract.”
When citizens gave her the opportunity to explain the matters for herself, Taylor responded by blocking and attacking them online with her team.
When asked by a citizen directly if she has been using sick leave while campaigning, her statements in March include -- “Not one single minute… I am a public school educator. I’m highly intelligent and extremely ethical. Do you think I am stupid enough to not have every second documented? This attack is a very slippery slope for those who are choosing to throw around accusations, lies, and defame my character.” Also, “I don’t play with my career. Some people are going to learn that very soon. Defamation is a real thing.”
Citizens can banter and question all day about records, ethics, and means of accountability regarding those paid by our tax dollars. However, the shocking decision of Kandiss Taylor to personally request a police warrant be issued for the arrest of Mr. Neil Singleton is more concerning to many. Taylor is an election integrity bullhorn. Without civil liberties, like freedom of speech and press, citizens everywhere would have no ability to vocalize their concern for public stewardship. Without civil liberties, no one would be able to question the state. Considering Mrs. Taylor’s pursuit of the Georgia’s highest office and expansive powers granted to such individuals, one can deduce that her actions regarding Mr. Singleton could grow to the attempted statewide suppression of anyone who may question her or her appointees.
Taylor clearly desires that Mr. Singleton cease talking about her, and is willing to pursue throwing him in jail to accomplish this. Jail creates silence. Yet, when the hearing convened on May 10, 2022 at 9:30am at the Appling County Courthouse under Magistrate Lewis, no decisions were made and no additional orders were given to adjust his ‘speech.’ The judge announced to everyone that he would notify parties of his decision at an indefinite future time, which is uncommon procedure for a criminal warrant hearing. Postings of her public records and questions thereof remain on his social media page, which is 'BBQ and Politics’ on the Facebook platform.
At the courthouse, Singleton volunteered to ‘back off’ posting about her, and the judge tried to ascertain if Mrs. Taylor was satisfied. Taylor replied, “I just want him to leave me alone” and provided no evidence of any crime. She also stated that she has proof that Mr. Singleton works for the Brian Kemp campaign, but did not provide it. She spoke of essentially having hurt feelings and being ‘scared.’ She threw the terms 'stalking' and 'intimidation' but provided no evidence. It appears she stated on the record that she is ‘scared’ because Singleton has a permit to carry and she researched him to have mental health issues. Her attempt to make these connections, especially after the risk of this exact legal intimidation toward conservatives highlighted in the recent statewide debate over Georgia HB 1013, is especially concerning. It appears that Taylor may have wanted to target his Constitutional right to carry. There is no record or evidence of Mr. Singleton ever threatening her with bodily harm or damage to her property. His health issues are limited to personal health matters not involving risk to others.
Singleton perceived the entire situation to be tampering with his civil liberties using the judicial system as a tool of political intimidation.
On May 16, citizens began requesting more open records from Appling County to assist Mr. Singleton. A major concern was that Mr. Singleton had not able to obtain any type of original police complaint, though he had asked multiple times. Finally, on May 18, the original complaint and the disposition were at last released by the Appling Sheriff and Magistrate Court. They found that, in fact, everything related to the matter is closed. The police had no reason to investigate and the case was inactivated. Judge Lewis' office stated that there is no warrant and no probable cause. Additionally, he was never ‘charged’ with anything.
Singleton POLICE COMPLAINT BY TAYLOR
First, anyone can vote in a Democratic Party primary in Georgia regardless of Party affiliation. Kandiss could have been voting in an attempt to set up the weaker of the choices to face the Republican challenger.
Second, voting is a private matter
Third, Kemp is a corrupt RINO and needs to go
You forgot to include raffensperger.
That pretty much proves her a liar as to her claim of "highly intelligent and extremely ethical", doesn't it?
I can think of no lower or base unethical behavior than to vote in the oppositions election process for the express purpose of undermining it for your own immoral advantage.. It's the same vile BS that Democrats have been engaged in since before you or I were even born.
You need to wake T F up!
You MUST be one of those paste eaters I met in kindergarten.
Just no. Using the criminal justice system to go after enemies? If there was a statute violated, it would have been listed there - it wasn't. Having a political dandidate run to the courts because “I just want him to leave me alone”. This is not something that a stable person would do. I'm not in Georgia, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but this not-yet-ready-for-prime-time schoolteacher doesn't have the judgement needed to keep herself out of trouble, much less run a statewide executive branch.
Mr. Singleton has a legal course of action against the schoolteacher. That he's not pursuing it shows that he's better than she is.
I live in GA, and this is the first I've heard of this. My immediate gut reaction knowing how good ole boy corrupt this place is, is that the dude probably *does* work for Kemp. It seems to me that this hit piece is probably bankrolled by Kemp. And it's likely that's why she brought flimsy charges before the court, hoping that Kemp's team would be exposed. She has zero backing or name recognition, so it also seems that the people in her local area are supporting her by fast walking whatever they can through the red tape on her behalf and letting her use sick days to campaign. Is that ethical? Well that's for them to say, because the little people fighting dark money funded trolls like Kemp is definitely a positive. If what they can donate is wheel grease and sick days to fight the machine, it's better than being a cog in the RINO machine. Ahem ahem.