Monday, May 14, 2018

Hattiesburg candidate pleads guilty to voting outside district. Ferraez fires back.

Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following statement. 


A Hattiesburg man who ran for an open state representative seat last year was sentenced Monday morning after pleading guilty to voting outside of his legal district, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.


Cory Ferraez, 28, was sentenced by Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman to six months in the custody of the county jail with all six months suspended. He was ordered to pay a $200 fine, $200 assessment to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and all court costs.



Ferraez illegally voted in a 2015 election in Lowndes County even though he was living in Hattiesburg. He was arrested on a capias in December following an indictment by a Lowndes County grand jury. He was indicted for swearing to a false application for absentee ballot, in addition to voting outside of his legal domicile, but the first charge was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to count two.

“The defendant is a lawyer, who appeared before the State Election Commission, and was warned by my Deputy AG on the record that it is illegal to claim residency in one place yet vote in another,” said General Hood. “He was told that an investigator was present and recording the meeting. When he qualified to run, he filed a sworn statement that he had lived in Hattiesburg for the two year period required by law. At the Election Commission meeting, he was confronted with his Lowndes County voter record during those two years. It is voter fraud to vote where you do not reside. Of all people, a lawyer should follow the law, especially after he was given the courtesy warning.”

This case was investigated by Roger Wade and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander, both with the AG’s Public Integrity Division.

Ferraez responded to the press release on Facebook: 

 I wanted to share my side to a story that is circulating this afternoon from the Attorney General's office. Since the AG and his office are determined to continue to mischaracterize their political witch hunt against me and vilify me all over the media, I feel it is only appropriate to release this press release so that the public can get the full story. I did not plead guilty to voter fraud, as I was legally registered to vote in my hometown where I have voted faithfully since I was 18. I did agree to plead on voting outside my legal residence, a misdemeanor, which is nothing more than a glorified speeding ticket. I appreciate each of your support during this time, and I look forward to focusing on my legal practice and serving my community:

Attorney Settles to Put Clients First

Hattiesburg attorney Cory Ferraez has agreed to settle a dispute with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office over voting outside his residence in 2015.

In October 2015, Ferraez voted in his hometown of Lowndes County where he was a registered voter since the age of 18. In 2016, after living in Hattiesburg for more than one year, Ferraez changed his voter registration to Forrest County. Later in 2017, and in order to qualify to run for state representative, Ferraez correctly declared he was a Hattiesburg resident to meet to the 2-year residency requirement.

Before the special election in 2017, the AG’s Office, under the direction of the only democrat-elected state official, attempted to keep Ferraez off of the ballot based on his Lowndes county vote in 2015. After that attempt failed, the State Board of Elections approved Ferraez’s candidacy and Forrest County residency, the AG’s Office pushed to convene a special grand jury so they could aggressively prosecute the case before the election took place.

Although no candidates for the special election declared party affiliation, and with the Republican super majority likely at stake, Ferraez indicated that he would caucus with the Republican party if elected.

“This is the first case of its kind to be indicted by any Attorney General ever in Mississippi. The entire indictment was politically motivated and an abuse of process, which has no place in our judicial system,” said one of Ferraez’s attorneys, Jace Ferraez. "Further, Cory did not plead guilty to voter fraud. Cory only plead to voting outside his legal domicile or residence because he was legally registered to vote in Lowndes County. Cory wants this political witch hunt behind him, so he can focus on helping his clients all across the state. Cory has a long and established record of service in any community in which he has been involved. The politics of personal destruction will not win, and although we would have preferred a complete dismissal, this resolution allows us time to focus on what matters in our great state—representing the people.”

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why?

Anonymous said...

Now we'll see if the Mississippi Bar does ANYTHING about this dishonest lawyer. Hello, Bar Association! Are you there????!!! Or are you too busy counting your money from overpriced bar dues that give attorneys virtually NOTHING in return from you.

Anonymous said...

With all the murders, drug and human trafficking being committed without investigation and prosecution by law enforcement, his crime must be extremely dangerous to the public. Or maybe its just a politically motivated prosecution and a way to get some press? What a waste of the public's resources.

Anonymous said...

6:58, it seems like an easy case to prove. He swore he was a resident of one area and he had been voting somewhere else. Not everything is a conspiracy. Hell, the president of the United States declared massive voter fraud in the last election so there was definitely a directive to look for it. Unfortunately for the republicans, these investigations usually lead back to themselves.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:58 Sigh. Still praying that "collusion" comes to light? Hahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha Sheesh.

Anyway, Dilbert said he doesn't oppose a receiver being appointed, but said the receiver should be from Mississippi.

"In the case at hand, the secretary's interest in maximizing the available funds to restore injured Mississippi investors MAY not be adequately represented by the receiver the SEC seeks to have appointed because a Miami, FL-based receiver will not be as efficient as a Mississippi-based receiver," Hosemann said in court papers. Got news for you Dilbert. They just might be a LOT more efficient since everyone in MS knows NOTHING is done efficiently.....by your office especially.

Anonymous said...

Before you pass judgment, please take a moment and read Cory's version, from his facebook. This seems like a gross mis-allocation of resources by the A.G.'s office. See below:

To my Family, Facebook Friends, and Beyond:

I wanted to share my side to a story that is circulating this afternoon from the Attorney General's office. Since the AG and his office are determined to continue to mischaracterize their political witch hunt against me and vilify me all over the media, I feel it is only appropriate to release this press release so that the public can get the full story. I did not plead guilty to voter fraud, as I was legally registered to vote in my hometown where I have voted faithfully since I was 18. I did agree to plead on voting outside my legal residence, a misdemeanor, which is nothing more than a glorified speeding ticket. I appreciate each of your support during this time, and I look forward to focusing on my legal practice and serving my community:

Attorney Settles to Put Clients First

Hattiesburg attorney Cory Ferraez has agreed to settle a dispute with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office over voting outside his residence in 2015.

In October 2015, Ferraez voted in his hometown of Lowndes County where he was a registered voter since the age of 18. In 2016, after living in Hattiesburg for more than one year, Ferraez changed his voter registration to Forrest County. Later in 2017, and in order to qualify to run for state representative, Ferraez correctly declared he was a Hattiesburg resident to meet to the 2-year residency requirement.

Before the special election in 2017, the AG’s Office, under the direction of the only democrat-elected state official, attempted to keep Ferraez off of the ballot based on his Lowndes county vote in 2015. After that attempt failed, the State Board of Elections approved Ferraez’s candidacy and Forrest County residency, the AG’s Office pushed to convene a special grand jury so they could aggressively prosecute the case before the election took place.

Although no candidates for the special election declared party affiliation, and with the Republican super majority likely at stake, Ferraez indicated that he would caucus with the Republican party if elected.

“This is the first case of its kind to be indicted by any Attorney General ever in Mississippi. The entire indictment was politically motivated and an abuse of process, which has no place in our judicial system,” said one of Ferraez’s attorneys, Jace Ferraez. "Further, Cory did not plead guilty to voter fraud. Cory only plead to voting outside his legal domicile or residence because he was legally registered to vote in Lowndes County. Cory wants this political witch hunt behind him, so he can focus on helping his clients all across the state. Cory has a long and established record of service in any community in which he has been involved. The politics of personal destruction will not win, and although we would have preferred a complete dismissal, this resolution allows us time to focus on what matters in our great state—representing the people.”

Anonymous said...

Thank you 9:07 for reprinting Cory's cover up denial of what he actually did. Please note, though that we didn't need your copy since it was in the original post.

Now that you try to out lipstick on this pig, Cory's "side of the story" is crap. He was offered a chance to get out of this trap when presented with the question at the State Election Commission. He chose not to. Now, after being indicted, he chose to plead guilty to avoid a full trial where he certainly would have been found guilty.

And despite this lying lawyers denual, HE WAS GUILTY OF VOTER FRAUD. He can say all day long that he wasnt, but he is doing nothing but continuing to lie,about his CRIME.

And, it is not equivalent to a speeding ticket. Maybe equivalent to a DUI, but I have never seen anyone sentenced to 6 months in jail plus $400 and costs for a speeding ticket. So, Cory lies -- again.

Face it -Cory's Facebook lie is just an attempt to cover up his attempt to cheat. Not cheat at a poker game. Not cheat on his spouse. But cheat at the core basic level of our democracy, the election process whereby we elect our public officials, which he thpught he should have been one. Thank goodness the folks in Hattiesburg didn't share the same opinion that this lying POS lawyer thought of himself.

BTWJ, I wouldn't have such a sharp statement to say about this guy if he had accepted the judgment and kept his mouth shut. But no -- he had to go on social media and try to deny his crime.

Anonymous said...

@9:07 Cory Ferraez entered a guilty plea to this charge under oath. Is his brother now saying that he committed perjury as well? Additionally, he voted by absentee ballot in Lowndes county which means he swore out an affidavit stating he lived in Lowndes county when he knew that he actually lived in Forrest county! He got caught. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

907 Cory's brother evidently is just as good about twisting the truth as Cory. Saying he didn't plead guilty to voting fraud, just to voting where he didn't live is (1) an untrue statement as to what he pled guilty to and () what he did plead guilty to is in fact voter fraud. While the indictment didn't include the words 'voter fraud' what it did include is in fact "voter fraud" - so yes, Cory committed voter fraud.

And it wasn't a partisan political move by the AG - who by the way I have absolutely no respect for. But in this case the AG had put in front of him two sworn documents that contraiced themselves - and he pointed it out to Attorney Cory. Kinda the old line "were you lying then or are you lying now"? Given the chance to walk away, Cory chose to continue both lies. And did it in front of and full view of the prosecutor.

Egos are wonderful things, and Lawyers egos are generally bigger. While this political hack proclaimed he would caucus with the Republicans so did all the viable candidates in the race - it is a republican district. Hood didn't prosecute because of the partisan issue, he did it because a clearly criminal action was flaunted in his face.

Anonymous said...

Another example of why people can't trust plaintiff's personal injury lawyers.

Anonymous said...


State Representative Jim Evans did the same thing for many many years and no one did a damn thing about it.

Anonymous said...

Dear General Hood: Please see Bobby Moak, Bobby Moak, Bobby Moak, Bobby Moak, Bobby Moak, Bobby Moak.

Bobby Moak--Democratic Party Chair

Bobby Moak--broke the law.

Anonymous said...

1245, different set of laws apply to certain individuals: Jim Evans, Ed Bkackmon, Barbara Blackman, Robert Johnson, and 10 pound Kenny Wayne. All of these have two things in common. You can add to the list (as noted above) Bobby Moak and Joe Lee who share one of those characteristics - incumbancy.

Anonymous said...

3:20 PM You listed only Democrats. How many Republican legislators live full time in Jackson? How many have an actual house in their own name in their district?

Anonymous said...

If only Cory were “family”, then there would’ve been no prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Frankly 548, I know of none. If you know any, please tell.

But to correct your statement, I didn't list only Democrats - as a Judge, Joe Lee is non-partisan. So, please correct yourself when you come back with your list of other transgresdors.

Anonymous said...

5:48,

Not sure about House, but for the Senate, I can speak with ceartainty that zero republicans live full time in Jackson or the metro area, other than the ones that are elected from those surrounding communities- Kirby, Harkins, Michel.

Anonymous said...

Hang Your Head Down Low When You Come To Town
Hang Your Head Down Low, Ike Brown Ike Brown.

Anonymous said...

He only got 9.7% of the votes in that hattiesburg house race and that was before the indictment. He is a very unprofessional and rude guy who thinks very highly of himself.... as most lawyers do.

Anonymous said...

It is clear by the comments that some of you do not understand the law. Or some of your are purposefully putting out comments that help the AG. Either way, see below

@ 9:50:

Cory's comments are not a denial that he did, in fact, vote where he did not "reside". The problem with your comment is that physical residence, alone, is not the standard to determine where you may legally vote. The legal standard is "domicile". The misdemeanor he pled to states voting outside your "domicile" is the offense. Even if you are residing outside of where you are legally registered to vote, you may still be qualified because you don't intend to stay in another place indefinitely. Physical residence + intent to remain indefinitely = domicile. Looking at the facts, at the time he voted absentee in 2015, he was residing in Hattiesburg for around a year after law school. That doesn't mean he meant to make that his permanent residence. Therefore, he would still be completely entitled to vote in Lowndes. If you aren't following, think of it like this: A college student resides where he or she goes to school, but still is registered to vote in his or her hometown. Under your logic, they would be guilty if they came back to vote in their hometown just for residing somewhere else. Not true.

Next, your use of the word fraud, just as Jim Hood used in his press release, is not accurate, legal or otherwise. Fraud requires the element of intent to defraud at the time of the act. Based on the facts we have seen, nothing even remotely points to his intent to fraudulently vote in 2015--years before any election took place. The misdemeanor that Cory pled to here requires no intent, and thus is not a felony, or for that matter, fraud. The law he pled to is called a "strict liability offense". Just like a speeding ticket (you speed, you are at fault), if you vote outside of your "domicile" you are at fault. From Cory's response, it looks like he wants to clarify exactly what he pled to and not let the AG mislead the public.

Should Cory have stayed out of the race? Especially after he knew that the AG might have a political reason to go after him on a felony and a law that has never been prosecuted in the state's history (misdemeanor he pled to)? You have to weigh both sides, and even though he may have wanted to do well for the people in his district, maybe he weighed incorrectly.

One more note, you still have to take into account how the AG pursued this so aggressively. Jim Hood tried to keep him off the ballot because their first position was that he didn't qualify for the election. The he tried to get a "special" grand jury to indite to get it out before the election. This is highly unusual. You have to think about that aspect. Even if Cory was guilty of a misdemeanor, the facts don't look good for the AG politically or in his role as AG.

At any rate, I would advise you that before you make a "sharp statement", you should probably understand what you are talking about and discuss it logically.

@ 10:12: AND @ 10:47:

Look at my comments on fraud. And no, perjury is not at play here.

Anonymous said...

It is clear by the comments that some of you do not understand the law. Or some of your are purposefully putting out comments that help the AG. Either way, see below

@ 9:50:

Cory's comments are not a denial that he did, in fact, vote where he did not "reside". The problem with your comment is that physical residence, alone, is not the standard to determine where you may legally vote. The legal standard is "domicile". The misdemeanor he pled to states voting outside your "domicile" is the offense. Even if you are residing outside of where you are legally registered to vote, you may still be qualified because you don't intend to stay in another place indefinitely. Physical residence + intent to remain indefinitely = domicile. Looking at the facts, at the time he voted absentee in 2015, he was residing in Hattiesburg for around a year after law school. That doesn't mean he meant to make that his permanent residence. Therefore, he would still be completely entitled to vote in Lowndes. If you aren't following, think of it like this: A college student resides where he or she goes to school, but still is registered to vote in his or her hometown. Under your logic, they would be guilty if they came back to vote in their hometown just for residing somewhere else. Not true.

Next, your use of the word fraud, just as Jim Hood used in his press release, is not accurate, legal or otherwise. Fraud requires the element of intent to defraud at the time of the act. Based on the facts we have seen, nothing even remotely points to his intent to fraudulently vote in 2015--years before any election took place. The misdemeanor that Cory pled to here requires no intent, and thus is not a felony, or for that matter, fraud. The law he pled to is called a "strict liability offense". Just like a speeding ticket (you speed, you are at fault), if you vote outside of your "domicile" you are at fault. From Cory's response, it looks like he wants to clarify exactly what he pled to and not let the AG mislead the public.

Should Cory have stayed out of the race? Especially after he knew that the AG might have a political reason to go after him on a felony and a law that has never been prosecuted in the state's history (misdemeanor he pled to)? You have to weigh both sides, and even though he may have wanted to do well for the people in his district, maybe he weighed incorrectly.

One more note, you still have to take into account how the AG pursued this so aggressively. Jim Hood tried to keep him off the ballot because their first position was that he didn't qualify for the election. The he tried to get a "special" grand jury to indite to get it out before the election. This is highly unusual. You have to think about that aspect. Even if Cory was guilty of a misdemeanor, the facts don't look good for the AG politically or in his role as AG.

At any rate, I would advise you that before you make a "sharp statement", you should probably understand what you are talking about and discuss it logically.

@ 10:12: AND @ 10:47:

Look at my comments on fraud. And no, perjury is not at play here.

Yes, lets discuss the actual truth of law said...

9:01 and repeated at 9:02.
Yes - I do know the law, and I will be glad to debate with you over any part of the election code as long as you would like to do so. As to this case, I have absolutely no dog in the hunt, unlike you, and I don't give a damn about either your client Cory (or yourself, whichever it is) or the AG for whom I have absolutely no love lost.
Physical residence for voting is in fact defined exactly as where YOUR RESIDE. Not, it has nothing to do with "intent" as you try to twist the difference between voting and qualifying for office.
Yes, residence IS the standard for where you may LEGALLY vote.
You are trying to change the use of 'domicile' which is a term used in qualifying for office - which is a different standard than the requirement for voting. Nice attempt, but it fails on its face.
One is only allowed to vote where one lives - where one puts their head down at night; where on feeds his dog. You cannot claim to live (and therefore vote) at another address from where you actually live. Different than your use of the term "domicile" which has been used with some trying to qualify for office while living outside the district.
You are trying to use the 'intent to return' concept to voting - which IT DOES NOT apply to, despite your claim. Many politicians for decades have hidden behind that concept in qualifying for office, which skirted the statute which the MSSC has recently taken out of the shadow and shined more light on that sham.
If you follow your argument, the AG's suit would have failed. Evidently your and your client recognized that when he chose to plead guilty to the fraud.
And yes, this was a fraud. You can try to claim differently, but as defined by the statute it was a fraud. A clear violation of the election statutes that could have been elevated to a felony if Cory had chosen to carry it to a trial. Hood's term was totally correct - Cory's, and your, attempt to compare this crime to a speeding ticket is a joke. One doesn't get a six month sentence and a several hundred dollar fine for a speeding ticket, or anything equivalent to a traffic ticket.
This was clearly a fraud - in fact, by your definition. It was admitted as an intent to defraud at the time of the act.
Cory knew he lived in Hattiesburg in 2015. He wanted to vote for his friend Jeff Smith. He thought he could get away with it - which he probably could have done until he signed a legal binding affidavit stating that he had lived in Hattiesburg for two years in 2017. In that affidavit, he stated under oath that he lived - was domiciled - in Hattiesburg for the preceding two years.
One year earlier he signed an oath swearing that he lived in Columbus.
No matter what lipstick you try to put on this pig, or your attempting to twist "live" and "domicile" or whatever you want to attempt to convolute - one cannot live in two different places at the same time. Which, this lying criminal swore that he did in two different sworn statements.

Cont. Let's discuss that law. said...

Cont.

To try to make this an attempt by the AG is also nothing more than another red herring you are dragging across this littered path. Claiming that the AG tried to keep Cory off the ballot is a gross misstatement of what happened. Frankly, the AG (surprisingly) did what was his legally required duty handed him as his responsibility as a member of the three member State Election Commission.
Their duty is to determine the qualification of all candidates who's names are to appear on the ballot. The Election Commission is charged by law to to enforce the election statutes and to rule on the eligibility and qualifications of a candidate for office. The AG was not doing anything other than his duty as spelled out in the statutes - and as an officer of the court when he saw a clear violation of the law placed in front of him with two conflicting sworn statements, he was required to act. (In fact, he attempted to give Cory an out - asking him whether he lied in 2015 with his absentee vote or in 2017 with his qualification statement, and letting him withdraw the second sworn statement. But Cory, of course, chose to stay the course with his conflicting statements.)
As the AG followed his constitutional duty, as well as his officer of the court duty, your client failed to follow his similar duty. He stuck by his conflicting statements and continued his lie thinking that nobody would do anything about his attempt to cheat the system.

And yes, in response to your last claim - Perjury is absolutely at play here.

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