Election board dismisses complaint against Seidensticker

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By Kevin Kane
Oct. 21, 4:44 p.m.

The Hamilton County Election Board will not proceed with an investigation into the residency of Eric Seidensticker, Carmel’s City Council president.

Seidensticker went before the board Friday to respond to an anonymous statement sent to the board questioning his residency and council eligibility. A motion to send the complaint to the prosecutor’s office for further investigation failed for lack of a second, and a subsequent motion to dismiss the complaint was later approved.

Seidensticker said before the meeting that he has temporarily been staying outside his home on Ash Drive as a result of a family matter, but that his permanent residence remains unchanged.

“That’s where I’m paying my mortgage,” he said.

Under Indiana Code, a member of a common council “forfeits office if the member ceases to be a resident of the district or city.” And residence, under Indiana Code, is defined as “where a person has the person’s true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment; and to which the person has, whenever absent, the intention of returning.”

The board determined that there was insufficient evidence of Seidensticker’s intent to make a permanent residence outside of his district.

“The code is gray in this area; the code does provide some language for temporary residency,” board member Keith Clock said. “Unless someone can file a formal complaint that’s not anonymous with some proof that there’s intent to leave the district, I’m not seeing a violation yet.”

Some of Seidensticker’s fellow councilors came to his defense on Friday. Councilwoman Luci Snyder presented a letter from Clerk-Treasurer Diana Cordray stating that Seidensticker’s paychecks from the city are still mailed to his address on Ash Drive, and Councilman Kevin Rider said he was “offended” that such a meeting was necessary.

“Does anyone else see the flavor of this?” he said. “First of all, it’s anonymous. It’s shameful. It’s slanderous. (Seidensticker’s) character is so far above this. I’m offended for (him). I’m offended by this procedure. I’m offended that any of us have to sit here and talk about this.”

Seidensticker said he was “confident this is not a political issue but a personal one.”

Jordan Fischer contributed to this report.

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