On Tuesday, September 5 at 10am the Petitions to Recall Black Diamond Councilmember Patricia Pepper will be delivered to King County Elections. Robbin Taylor, the Petitioner, and Johna Thomson, Secretary, will be available for comments and questions at that time.
While only 370 signatures are needed to place the measure on the ballot, 572 signatures have been collected thus far, demonstrating the strong community support for removing Pepper from office. Signature gathering will continue through Labor Day weekend.
King County Elections will verify the signatures, then set a date for a recall election. According to RCW 29A.56.210: “The special election shall be held not less than forty-five nor more than ninety days from the certification.”
The Supreme Court will consider the “Matter of the Recall of Patricia Pepper” during their en banc conference on September 7th. Their final ruling on Pepper’s appeal will be the last word on any challenge to the recall. (Supreme Court No. 94574-8)
“We’re excited to turn in the signatures we’ve been collecting,” said spokesperson Johna Thomson. “We’ve had great conversations with Black Diamond citizens who are very supportive of the recall and eager to replace Pepper with a new councilmember who will represent the citizens and not the outside interests from Bellevue, whom Pepper now represents.”
April 7 Recall against Black Diamond City Councilmember Patricia Pepper was initiated by filing a Petition with King County Elections with a list of charges and support documents.
May 10th King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus gave Black Diamond citizens the green light to proceed with the recall by determining that four charges against Pepper met the criteria with “legal and factual sufficiency.” (KC Superior Court No. 17-2-10707-7 KNT)
May 26 Pepper appealed to the Supreme Court, putting signature gathering on hold.
June 12 The Supreme Court ruled signature gathering never had to stop because no stay had been requested and an expedited review timeline was granted.
June27 Pepper requested that the court stay the signature collecting and return to the original review timeline.
July 11 The Supreme Court denied both of Pepper’s requests.
These are the court approved charges against Councilmember Pepper that met the benchmark of “legal and factual sufficiency”:
Pepper, as part of a council majority…
1. Violated the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) by convening and conducting closed meetings without public notice and by entering into private agreements to prepare and approve legislation.
2. Refused to attend council meetings and failed to approve minutes.
3. Failed to enact a 2017 budget in violation of state law and instead enacted a temporary budget containing illegal provisions, impairing the city’s ability to provide essential services.
4. Improperly voted to change Master Development Review Team (MDRT) contracts resulting in threatening legal action against the city.