BERLIN – A mayoral candidate in Berlin’s coming election shared her side of the story this week following news of a drug possession charge.
According to South Carolina’s online judiciary case search, Berlin Councilmember Lisa Hall was charged with possession of the drug flunitrazepam on April 29. She says it’s being brought up now, months after it happened, because the town’s election is next week. Hall is running for mayor against incumbent Gee Williams.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have lowered ourselves to this level of campaigning,” she said. “I have purposely been taking the high road.”
Local media outlets were provided with a copy of court documents related to the charge with an anonymous letter this week encouraging the press to dig into Hall’s background.
When asked about the drug charge, Hall said it occurred when she was pulled over for speeding in South Carolina the month following her husband’s death. She said the flunitrazepam, a drug used to treat insomnia, was one of her husband’s medications.
“I went to South Carolina trying to get away,” she said. “I had a bag with some prescription medications in it and one had Bill’s name on it.”
Hall said that as a result of the charge she paid a $350 fine.
“They wrote a ticket. I paid a $350 fine,” she said. “I didn’t have to go back to South Carolina. I thought this matter was over.”
Hall says she’s spent the ensuing months busy with her council role, working to open a butcher shop and taking care of her grandchildren.
Hall was first elected to the town council in 2008 when she ran against Thom Gulyas and Jason Walter. She was reelected in 2012 and since then has made it known she planned to run for mayor this year. Hall, who is involved with the Maryland Municipal League, the Rural Maryland Council and the Eastern Shore Association of Municipalities, says her focus is on making sure Berlin keeps its small town charm.
Hall will be giving up her council seat to challenge Mayor Gee Williams, who is looking to secure his third term in office after first being elected in 2008 and unopposed in 2012 despite a robust write-in effort for former Councilwoman Ellen Lang.
With Hall not running for her council seat, a newcomer is assured to join the council with candidates Jack Orris and Zackery Tyndall squaring off on Tuesday, Oct. 4 for the District 2 council seat.
District 3 Councilman Elroy Brittingham is unopposed for his seat.
The deadline for absentee voting applications to be submitted in person before the election is Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.
The polling place for Districts 1 and 2 is Buckingham Presbyterian Church on South Main Street, while Districts 3 and 4 vote at the Multipurpose Building on Flower Street. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 4.