Signatures certified; recall election may proceed

05/25/2013 12:00 AM

05/28/2013 10:19 AM

Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante announced Friday that petitioners seeking to oust Lassen Supervisor Jack Hanson from office have collected enough valid signatures to allow a recall election to proceed.

Bustamante's certification of sufficient signatures sets the stage for a special election in a controversial campaign that was launched more than two years ago and involved a court order.

The first attempt to recall Hanson ended when the petitioners failed to turn in the signatures they had collected, Bustamante said.

On their second attempt, the recall proponents needed five tries to get the format of their petition approved. Once they did, Bustamante said over half the signatures they collected were on improper forms and she rejected them.

Last month, visiting Superior Court Judge Charles H. Ervin ordered Bustamante to accept the petitions as submitted. Her objections had "no effect on the substance of the petition," he said in a minute order.

The recall petition cites Hanson's vote to terminate former Lassen County Administrative Officer Tom Stone among the grounds for removing him from office.

Other grounds include "indifference to the economic growth and development of Herlong and Doyle;" "unwillingness to embrace growth and economic progress for Lassen County;" and Hanson's "failure to support a taxpayer-funded swimming pool."

Hanson, who represents the county's 5th District, was not available for comment.

Bustamante will present the certified recall petitions June 11 to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors to schedule a special election.

Hanson is midway through his third term, which will expire in January 2015.

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