Court to decide 'sufficiency of complaint' on recall effort

Clallam County, WA - 9/21/01 - On the 27th of September, there will be a hearing in Clallam County Superior Court.  The issue of the Recall of Commissioner Tharinger will come before the Honorable Thomas Majhan at 9:00 a.m.  The Ballot Synopsis that was prepared by the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Lauren Erickson, will be reviewed.  Most importantly, there will be a review of the Charges to determine "Sufficiency of the Complaint."  

Once the sufficiency of Complaint has been determined and the Ballot Synopsis has been approved, the petitions can be printed up (unless it is appealed to the Supreme Court.)  Judge Majhan will not determine Mr. Tharinger's guilt or innocence (that is up to the voters) but will determine whether failure to abide by the mandate of the County Charter is sufficient grounds to charge him with violating his oath of office.

Click here for a  copy of the complaint.  The ballot synopsis (as formulated by Lauren Erickson) is as follows:
                                                           BALLOT SYNOPSIS

    Steve Tharinger is a Clallam county Commissioner who has been charged with violating his oath of office by willfully neglecting to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law, i.e., the Clallam County Charter.  The charge is based upon the events of July 24, 2001 when he suggested to the other board members that prior to holding a public hearing on whether to adopt or reject a proposed initiative to repeal the Clallam County Critical Areas Ordinance, a court decision should be sought to determine whether the subject of the initiative was legally within the power of the people to legislate by initiative; and furthermore that he was one of two commissioners who failed to second the motion of a third commissioner to proceed with a public hearing.  Did Commissioner Tharinger violate his oath of office and should he therefore be recalled?

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