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politics

Seattle councilmember recall effort moves forward

LateToCult

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that the recall petition, seeking to remove Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant from office, can go forward.

Judge Jim Rogers found four of the six charges leveled against Sawant to be both specific enough and sufficient to allow the process to proceed. It’s the second politically charged recall effort against a Seattle elected official in the wake of this summer’s mass protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

...

A group of Seattle residents is leading the Sawant recall push, alleging violations in six circumstances, including when she let demonstrators into City Hall during a nighttime protest in June and spoke at a protest in front of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house. They also alleged that she encouraged protesters to occupy Seattle Police’s East Precinct, “helped create the Capitol Hill Occupation Protest (CHOP) Zone,” used city resources to promote a ballot initiative and delegated employment decisions in her office to her political party.

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Dmitri Iglitzin, Sawant’s attorney, pointed out in arguments Wednesday that Sawant has been elected three times, most recently less than a year ago, and said the recall petitioners were trying to redo those elections because they disagree with her politics.

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Rogers, in his order, ticked through the charges one by one, asking first whether enough facts were presented that there was evidence of “malfeasance or misfeasance,” and second, whether the conduct was substantial and had no legal justification.

He found that there was enough evidence that Sawant has delegated hiring and firing positions in her office to her Socialist Alternative party. He writes that that could be seen to violate the Seattle Municipal Ethics Code, which requires city business to be done by city officials and employees.

Rogers found that there was substantial evidence that Sawant’s office spent $2,000 on efforts to support a “Tax Amazon” ballot initiative. 

“These are actual resources being spent to promote an initiative, which is prohibited by law,” Rogers wrote. “These facts show actual knowledge of facts indicating that the Councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act.”

Rogers wrote that Sawant was pictured speaking at a protest in front of Durkan’s house, even though Durkan’s address is protected by a state confidentiality program because of her past work as a federal prosecutor.

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A significant portion of the argument in court Wednesday focused on the night of June 9, when Sawant used her key card to unlock City Hall and let hundreds of protesters in for a nighttime rally in the wake of the killing of George Floyd — even as most city buildings were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

full story: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/judge-to-decide-wednesday-whether-effort-to-recall-kshama-sawant-can-move-forward/%3famp=1

Edited by LateToCult
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