Taylor asks court to allow gathering of recall petition signatures once again
Not sitting idle after being told all signature gathering had to stop in the recall effort regarding Black Diamond Councilmember Pat Pepper, community member Robbin Taylor is seeking to reopen the signature gathering or to accelerate the review of the Pepper appealed recall to Washington State Supreme Court.
On May 7th, Taylor filed a request for recall of Pepper with a number of charges to be brought against Pepper regarding her actions/non-actions while sitting as a member of Black Diamond City Council. A month later, on May 4th, King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janine Joly put together the fundamental charges for recall along with a ballot synopsis. On May 10th, Judge Beth Andrus of King County Superior Court heard the case and found that four of the charges were factually and legally sufficient to recall of Pepper. On May 25th, Pepper filled her appeal.
Due to the appeal, all efforts to gather signatures was stopped shortly after beginning on May 26th. In an effort to begin once again, Taylor asked the Supreme Court on June 2nd to allow gathering of signatures once again. Court documents point out that if allowed, Pepper would still be able to comment publicly on the charges and campaign against the recall. She also has the ability to stay Taylor’s attempt to enforce the Superior Court’s order.
Should the court not allow the continued signature gathering, Taylor’s second request of the court is to accelerate the review of the lower court’s decision. The reasoning for this was listed under the court document, “B. Public policy favors the expedited review of appeals on recall petitions. Although the accelerated schedule for recall cases set forth in RCW 26A.56.270 has been superseded, this Court still gives special credence to the legislature’s treatment of recall cases as ‘urgent and deserving of accelerated procedure.’ See West, 156 Wn.2d at 251 n. 2. Allowing this case to proceed under the normal briefing schedule will cause it to languish in the appeal process for a year if not more. Ms. Pepper has approximately two years remaining on her term as city councilmember. By the time resolution is finally reached under a normal appeal schedule, it may be too late to hold a recall election. Furthermore, the longer this case is pending, the more damage will be done to the City of Black Diamond. Moreover, the Appellant is pursuing this appeal pro se. While she has every right to do so, it is unlikely that her pro se efforts will overcome the detailed and well-reasoned assessment of the superior court. This appeal may simply be an effort to slow the process.”