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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Backers of West recall will explain petition status

From staff reports

The sponsor of a recall effort against Spokane Mayor Jim West is planning a town hall meeting for Friday evening.

Shannon Sullivan said she and the attorneys who are helping her with the recall will be available to explain where the petition is in the legal process. The meeting will occur the day after the state Supreme Court considers a request for a quick review of West’s appeal of language for the recall petition.

“We’ll try to educate the public a little bit about where we’re going with the recall,” Sullivan said Monday. “It’s not going to be a bashing-West deal.”

Sullivan, a single mother in north Spokane with no formal legal training, filed a recall petition against West and survived the first round of a court challenge against three attorneys who are representing the mayor.

Last month, visiting Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson ruled one allegation in the petition – that West misused his office by soliciting internships for young men “for his own purposes” – had enough information to move to the next step of gathering signatures. Two other allegations were dismissed because supporting information was not sufficient, Matheson ruled.

West is appealing Matheson’s ruling, and on Monday filed a legal brief contending the judge completely rewrote the ballot language for the remaining allegation, and questioning whether an elected official can be “recalled for private acts”.

Sullivan continues to represent herself in the appeal, but is receiving advice from Spokane attorneys Mark Hodgson and Brant Stevens.

Since the recall effort was filed, Sullivan has been deluged by requests from people wanting to sign the petition. But the petitions can’t be printed and circulated until the appeal is settled, she said.

The town hall meeting will give the public a chance to offer suggestions and to volunteer for circulating petitions or gathering signatures at some future date, she said.

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