18-year-old elected to Alabama city council cleared of election complaint

Published 10:02 am Saturday, January 16, 2021

The youngest person ever elected to the Decatur City Council has been cleared of a complaint filed by the defeated incumbent, who claimed his challenger didn’t file required financial reports.

The secretary of state’s office closed its review of a complaint filed against Hunter Pepper, 18, by former council member Charles Kirby, who lost to Pepper in the city election, the Decatur Daily reported.

Kirby alleged Pepper didn’t file the required paperwork detailing his campaign contributions and expenses. Political candidates are required to submit records if they raise of spend more than $1,000, and Kirby said he believed Pepper spent more than that on yard signs.

Kirby filed the complaint “because he was angry he got beat by an 18-year-old,” Pepper said. Pepper said his attorney submitted records that showed his campaign didn’t reach the $1,000 threshold.
“It’s a relief but I knew I didn’t do anything wrong,” Pepper said. “I did my research when I decided to run to make sure I knew what I needed to do.”

Hugh Evans, general counsel for the secretary of state, said he decided against sending the matter to Morgan County prosecutors or the attorney general’s for potential prosecution.

“I was satisfied with his answers to all of the questions so we closed the case,” Evans said.

Pepper is one of four new members, all under 40, elected in August to the five-member council to serve a four-year term.