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Brannon to try again

by Tom Hasslinger
| November 10, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Jim Brannon, unsuccessful challenger for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat 2 at the polls and in the courtroom, has filed a request for a new trial citing "erroneous" determinations by the court.

The petition, filed Monday, comes nearly two months after the election challenge suit ended in September in favor of incumbent Mike Kennedy.

That ruling wrapped up an 11-month legal battle. Now the parties are expected before 1st District Judge Charles Hosack at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7.

"The evidence at trial is insufficient to justify the verdict," Brannon's attorney, Starr Kelso, wrote in the filing.

Brannon lost to incumbent Mike Kennedy by five votes after the Nov. 3, 2009, general election. He challenged the election, claiming inadmissible ballots had contributed to Kennedy's win, and a new election was warranted. Hosack ruled against Brannon, but threw out illegal votes that trimmed the difference to three.

"It's disappointing he won't let it go," Kennedy said. "But we'll continue to participate in the process as we have for the last year."

Kelso's filing states that the erroneous determinations by the court were made when it didn't shift the burden of proof to the defendant after reports were introduced in court that showed a different number of absentee ballots were documented (2,041) other than what the machines had counted on election night (2,051).

Once 2,041 was introduced, it was up to the defendants to prove 2,051 was the actual total, the request states.

The filing puts a hold on the 10-day countdown for Brannon that began Nov. 5 after the judgment was completed to decide whether to appeal the trial's ruling to the Idaho Supreme Court.

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