A former Caledonia resident who ran unsuccessfully for state representative in Hattiesburg last year pleads guilty to a misdemeanor and is sentenced to six months probation, fined $200 and ordered to pay $200 to the state Victims Compensation Fund for voting outside the district where he lived on Oct. 21, 2015.
Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge Lee Coleman handed down the sentence Monday.
Cory Ferraez, an attorney in Hattiesburg who turns 29 next month, had moved to Forrest County and claimed it as his residency when he requested an absentee ballot and voted absentee in Lowndes County in the 2015 election because that’s where he was still registered.
When he ran for the District 102 state representative seat in a special election last September, the issue came to light. To qualify to run in that non-partisan special election, he had to swear he’d been a resident of the district for two years. Others searched his voting record and found the Lowndes County vote during that time period and reported it to state officials, which prompted an investigation by Attorney General Jim Hood’s office.
Ferraez originally was indicted on one count of swearing to a false application for an absentee ballot, which is a felony, and one count of voting outside his legal district, a misdemeanor.
At the time he was arrested in December, his identical twin brother, Jace, who is a lawyer in Jackson, said the state Election Commission had looked into the matter and found no wrong.
Jace Ferraez was with him in court Monday.
If he’d been convicted of the swearing to the false application, he faced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. That felony could have resulted in his law license being revoked or suspended.
He pleaded to the misdemeanor and got the maximum sentence, although the jail time was suspended. The misdemeanor is not likely to impact his law license.
Ferraez earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration from the University of Alabama and his law degree from the University of Mississippi.