Wednesday, January 29, 2014
BRIDGEPORT Upon finding out a local man has filed a request to recall the mayor, the City Council planned to meet Tuesday to consider whether the city should pay for her defense.
The city is permitted to pay for Mayor Marilynn Lynn’s legal fees, according to state law, if the council chooses to.
The meeting was slated for 5:30 p.m., after The Chronicle’s press deadline.
Resident Michael Knox filed the recall request Jan. 21 with Douglas County after more than a year of public complaints about how the city, and Lynn specifically, does business.
“It is a shame that things had to come to this,” Knox said. “In consideration of events over the past 18 months, the mayor left the community no other alternative.”
“I have been advised to decline comment at this time,” Lynn said when contacted.
Douglas County Auditor Thad Duvall said it could be a lengthy process before deter-mination on a recall election.
He dropped off Knox’s request at the Douglas County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Jan. 22. The office has 15 days to develop a ballot synopsis for consideration.
The Superior Court then has 15 days to schedule a public hearing. If the judge determines the ballot synopsis is suitable, it’s “not a judgment of whether it’s true or not,” Duvall said.
Knox would then be tasked with collecting signatures. He would be required to get at least 35 percent of the people who voted in the last mayoral election, Duvall said. Based on the 2011 election returns, that’s about 85 signatures, he said.
The eight-page request outlines 14 allegations against Lynn including: possible fraud, illegal use of building permits, illegal direction to the planning commission, illegal hiring of a city employee, illegal alteration or destruction of public records, illegal use of city zoning codes, failure to respond to appeal of denied public record request, failure to follow the directions of the City Council to correct an administrative error and failure to adequately direct and supervise the fire chief.
“From each of these descriptions, it should be clearly seen what the mayor has done and how her actions should be considered malfeasance or misfeasance or a violation of the oath of office,” Knox wrote in his request.
Regarding the fraud allegation, Lynn introduced a memorandum of understanding for emergency services in August 2012 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Chief Joseph Dam. The City Council voted 4-1 to approve the memorandum, but the Corps has not yet taken action.
Knox claimed the Corps’ district office in Seattle never received the memorandum until he sent it himself in November 2013, and said Lynn had no intention of following through despite costing the city in attorneys’ fees to draft it.
Lynn told The Chronicle in a previous interview the memorandum was a request made by the city’s fire and emergency chiefs. She said she emailed a copy to Corps employees in Bridgeport in 2012, who confirmed to The Chronicle they received it.
Also included in Knox’s recall request is a claim Lynn possibly engaged in a vendetta against him on two occasions by delaying his public records requests and denying a public hearing as outlined under state law for David Greer, a 21-year employee she fired last year for mistakenly shoplifting a pie.