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Recall election OKd for three Fullerton City Council members

February 6, 2012 |  9:47 pm

A recall election against three Fullerton City Council members can go forward, officials announced Monday.

The Orange County registrar of voters has verified that enough valid signatures were turned in by recall proponents to call for a recall election against F. Richard Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley.

The City Council is slated to certify the signatures at its Feb. 21 meeting and will need to pick a date for the election.

City Clerk Lucinda Williams said in a statement that if the council decides to hold the recall in conjunction with the June 5 primary, the cost to the city will be $129,000 to $160,000, while calling a special election would come with a price tag of $269,000 to $301,000.

A group led by blogger and developer Tony Bushala launched the recall effort in the fall in the wake of public outrage over a series of scandals involving the Fullerton Police Department, most notably the death of a homeless man, Kelly Thomas, in a beating incident that led to criminal charges against two officers.

The recall effort was largely bankrolled by Bushala, who put nearly $150,000 of his own money into the effort.

The largest contributions to the anti-recall campaign came from police organizations, including the Fullerton Police Officers Assn. PAC, which gave $19,000 out of nearly $62,000 raised. The Peace Officers Research Assn. of California PAC, a federation of law enforcement associations, contributed $10,000. McKinley and Bankhead are both former Fullerton police officers, and McKinley is a former chief of the department.

Fullerton citizens interested in running for the seats that would be vacated if the recall is successful should contact the city C=clerk's office at CityClerk'sOffice@ci.fullerton.ca.us or at (714) 738-6350. The filing fee is $25, with an optional $1,200 to place a candidate statement on the ballot. The cutoff date is March 9.

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 -- Abby Sewell

 

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