This story was updated on March 25, 2023
Adams County President Judge Michael A. George has ruled that because she intentionally misstated facts about her real estate holdings and income on the financial statement accompanying her petitions for Gettysburg Area School Board, incumbent board member Amy Beth Hodges may not run as a Republican candidate in the 2023 primary election.
In a separate order issued on March 24, George also removed Hodges from the Democratic primary election on the basis of insufficient valid signatures in her Democratic petition.
The objection to Hodges’ Republican Party petition was filed by Gettysburg Area School District resident Andrew W. Miner. George heard oral arguments in the case on Monday before making his ruling yesterday.
In his ruling, George said Hodges listed her profession, business, or occupation as “business owner” and listed her occupation or profession as “innkeeper.” In her statement of financial interests accompanying the petition, Hodges listed 44 York St. Gettysburg as one of her real estate interests. Hodges also checked the “none” box in response to the question of whether she possessed financial interest in any legal entity in business for profit.
George determined that 44 York St. is owned by White Orchid Enterprises LLC and that Hodges does not have any legal interest in the property. George said Hodges and her husband are in negotiations to obtain full ownership of the business (known as the Brafferton Inn), but that it was unclear as to the manner in which such a transaction would occur, if at all.
In his order, George said all candidates of a political party seeking nomination and election to a public office within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are required to comply with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Election Code, which includes a statement of financial interests.
George said inaccuracies in the statement of financial interests do not automatically disqualify a candidate and can be amended. According to George, Hodges filed an amended statement in which she reported the Brafferton Inn as a source of income of $1,300 or more and denied she is employed by the business or has a financial interest in the legal entity.
George said that “despite Hodges’ representation in her Petition, it is unequivocally clear that she is not a ‘Business Owner,’ but that “Hodges’ misrepresentation concerning her occupation as a “Business Owner” standing alone is insufficient to qualify as a material representation invalidating the Petition.”
He concluded by saying “However, when combined with inaccuracies in the Statement of Financial Interests supports a conclusion that the inaccuracies in the combination of documents were intentional. All of these representations further her public statements as to business ownership which are false but clearly aimed at gaining political favor.”
Hodges was first elected to the school board in 2019 when she successfully ran for two seats. Because she was only capable of filling one chair, Hodges resigned from the position that included a two-year term and accepted the four-year position.