Tahlequah's city clerk is defending claims that she's not qualified for reelection due to her residency.

The Daily Press was contacted by four people who insisted DeAnna Hammons is not living within the city limits. Residency is a requirement to hold an elected position.

Cherokee County Election Board Secretary Tiffany Rozell confirmed Hammons is registered to vote in the city limits.

"There's definitions that we had to lean on and look at just to make sure everything is nice and clean and it falls under the same pretext, but it's not that we have rental at the point," Hammons said. "We're maintaining a residence, and that's what the [City] Charter says."

Hammons said she maintains a residence inside the city limits when asked if her rental properties qualified her to be a city resident.

"I am registered and nothing has changed since the last time I ran," Hammons said. "I did visit thoroughly -- before I even threw my hat in to begin with -- with the city and the city attorney at the time, and the election board. I'm confident on where I stand."

According to the Notice of Election, each candidate for city office is required to be an actual resident of the city.

"Each candidate for city office shall be a qualified elector for the city and each candidate for office of Councilor shall be an actual resident of the ward for which he/she is a candidate," the notice said. "Each candidate for city clerk, city treasurer, street commissioner, and chief of police shall be an actual resident of the city."

Comments seeking clarification were not returned from Tahlequah City Attorney Grant Lloyd by press time.

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