By Associated Press - Saturday, September 12, 2020

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (AP) - A candidate for the Georgia Senate was arrested for breaking into her foreclosed home after being evicted, a news report said.

Linda Pritchett tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she never should have been evicted in the first place.

Pritchett was arrested at the home in South Fulton on Sept. 4 and charged with first-degree burglary, obstructing an officer and criminal property damage, the newspaper reported, citing police documents and jail records.

According to a South Fulton police report, an officer was “flagged down by a citizen” on Aug. 31 “in reference to an owner versus tenant dispute.” Four days later, the police department took the Senate candidate into custody.

Pritchett is running in a special Democratic primary on Nov. 3 to replace Sen. Nikema Williams, an Atlanta Democrat running for Congress. Senate District 39 covers parts of Fulton County.

Pritchett said she was “maliciously prosecuted and charged excessively.” She says the house was wrongfully foreclosed, pointing to a 2018 lawsuit where she claims Main Street Renewal and several other companies took back the home prematurely without giving her room to dispute the action.

The company alleged Pritchett breached a contract by failing to pay more than $33,000 she owed in back rent by an agreed-upon date in February of this year. A judge signed an order giving Main Street Renewal the right to evict Pritchett on May 13. She was appealing when Fulton County sheriff’s deputies put her out on Aug. 27

Main Street Renewal said when a representative went to clean the home, “(Pritchett) had broken back into the property and moved (her) possessions back inside.”

Pritchett said she did not believe the company could evict her due to a federal moratorium on evictions or while litigation was pending.

A judge then told Main Street Renewal to send police to remove Pritchett, leading to the arrest. Pritchett is free on bail.

“Some of my political enemies are using this as a time to put out false information and embarrass me,” she said.

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