Courtney Rainey
Courtney Rainey
CANTON — A city alderman and an employee of the Canton Public School District have been found guilty in connection with a 2017 municipal voter fraud scheme.

Andrew Grant, who served as Alderman Ward 7, was forced to resign recently after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit voter fraud. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which the judge in the case suspended.

Grant had to resign because of language in Section 44 of the Mississippi Constitution, which bars anybody convicted of a felony or an “infamous crime” from holding public office.

Grant is still employed by the county as a storm water inspector, earning approximately $53,000 annually.

In addition, a jury found Courtney Rainey, Director of Human and Cultural Needs for the city and current member of the Canton Public School Board, guilty on one count of witness tampering and not guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit voter fraud. 

The jury could not come to a decision on her first of her 12 counts of actual voter fraud.

Rainey remains on paid administrative leave from her job with the city. Her employment status was discussed at a work session aldermen last week, but no action was taken.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney John K. Bramlett’s office said they intended to retry Rainey on that first count. They are still deciding what to do with the other charges pending against her. 

She already faces up to two years in a state penitentiary for the conviction for voter intimidation.

She was taken into custody following her conviction last week and as of Friday was being held at the Madison County Detention Center.

Another aldermen, former Canton Police Chief Vickie McNeil, is scheduled to meet with prosecutors Monday ahead of her trial where she will face four counts of voter fraud in two indictments handed down in December.

Former City Clerk Valerie Smith pleaded guilty in June and received one year supervised probation. Former Fire Chief Cary Johnson and Jennifer Hall received pre-tril diversion. Cases against Desmand King and Sherman Matlock were dismissed.