By Las Cruces Bulletin A state judge Wednesday, May 20, rejected a request for the Las Cruces city clerk’s office to reconsider counting recall petitions from which signers later asked to have their names removed. District Court Judge Mary Rosner issued an order to quash the legal filing, called a writ of mandamus, citing state law that allows the city clerk to “resolve issues of residency and major infractions.” Recall petition backers first filed the writ April 16, after the city clerk determined there weren’t enough valid signatures to warrant a recall election. Lawyers for the councillors made counter arguments Wednesday, May 13. The City Council has twice tabled resolutions affirming the city clerk’s accounting of the recall petitions because of the legal proceedings. Gill Sorg, who was a target of the recall effort along with councillors Nathan Small and Olga Pedroza, said he hoped Rosner’s ruling would put an end to the recall effort. “We agree with the court’s decision and we are glad for it,” Sorg said. “This has been a terrible waste of time and money when the city and council should concentrate on making a better life for everyone. I’m ready to move forward doing the important work for my constituents.” Rosner’s ruling cited that 757 people – amounting to nearly a quarter of all signatures gathered – had requested to remove their names from the petitions. The recall effort has been criticized for misleading people into signing the petitions, thinking it was for something else, such as keeping the Police Athletic League’s boxing canter open. Sorg, Small and Pedroza became targets of the recall effort – largely supported by business interests and conservatives – after they voted against a minimum wage ordinance in order for the question to be put on the general election ballot. Todd G. Dickson may be reached at 680-1983 or todd@ lascrucesbulletin.com.
Todd G. Dickson