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Fullerton voters clean house, oust three council members


A recall campaign in Fullerton that was driven in part by the death of a homeless man who was beaten by police has ended with the removal of three City Council members from office.

The council members, targeted after the violent confrontation between police and Kelly Thomas, were ousted by a hefty margin in Tuesday's election.

Dick Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley, who came under fire for their perceived inaction after the death of Thomas, were each voted out by a nearly identical margin of close to 66%.

INTERACTIVE MAP: California primary results

Once the results are certified, the ousted leaders will be replaced by Travis Kiger, a planning commissioner and blogger for the site Friends for Fullerton's Future; Greg Sebourn, a land surveyor; and attorney Doug Chaffee.

Kiger and Sebourn are small-government conservatives aligned with Tony Bushala, a local businessman and owner of the Fullerton's Future blog who largely funded the recall effort. Chaffee is a Democrat. 

Sebourn said he hopes the new council will look not only at the issues in the police department but at fiscal issues, including the structure of public safety pensions and obligations left over from the now-defunct redevelopment agency.

He said the council will also need to take a hard look at the city manager and city attorney, two positions appointed directly by the City Council. Both came under criticism, along with the three recalled council members, for their handling of the Thomas case.

"Since the people have spoken, I think the people don't like the direction the city manager and the city attorney have taken," Sebourn said. 


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— Abby Sewell

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