Thursday, March 12, 2015

UPDATE: Collins recall protest denied, petitions found sufficient

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 4:58 PM

Johnson: Recall is a go. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Johnson: Recall is a go.

UPDATE: This just in from recall leader, Deborah Hendrix:
Thanks to today’s decision by the city clerk upholding our recall effort, my fellow District 4 voters will be able to remove an arrogant and out-of-touch politician like Helen Collins from the City Council.

Her unethical and possibly illegal real estate deal with convicted felon Doug Bruce, as reported by the news media, may have cheated Colorado Springs taxpayers out of thousands of dollars. It is the most telling example yet of the possible corruption she has brought to City Hall.

With an ongoing ethics probe and possible criminal investigation hanging over her, it would be best for our district and the entire city if Helen Collins would step down now. City government faces enough challenging issues just ahead of next month’s election without having to deal with this cloud of controversy a day longer.
————ORIGINAL POST THURS., MARCH 12, 2015, 4:58 P.M.—————-

As expected, City Clerk Sarah Johnson has ruled in favor of an effort to recall City Councilor Helen Collins, overruling a protest that cited problems with signatures, addresses and other issues regarding the petitions.

The decision, released today, means the recall election goes forward at the April 7 all-mail city election. Collins faces recall but there is no candidate running to replace her, meaning City Council would appoint her successor if she's recalled.

Johnson said her decision was based in part on an opinion from Municipal Judge Hayden Kane, which can be found here:

Though he tossed out 42 signatures challenged by protester, Robert Blancken, Kane ruled the petitions were still sufficient to trigger a recall election.

Here's more from the city's news release:

The final determination, including Judge Kane’s findings, is attached for more details. Per City Code § 5.1.511E, the City Clerk's finding is final agency action on this matter.

A Petitioner’s Committee filed an affidavit of intent to circulate a recall petition for 4th District Councilmember Helen Collins on December 17, 2014. Deborah Hendrix is the spokesperson for the Petitioner’s Committee.

Petitioner’s Committee submitted completed petition packets on January 8, 2015.

City Clerk certified petition sufficiency on January 14, 2015.

City Council set the recall election date for the April 7, 2015 General Municipal Election at their January 27, 2015 meeting. The recall question along with 200 word statement on reason for the recall and a 300 word statement by Councilmember Collins will appear on the ballot for registered voters who reside in the 4th District.

A protest concerning the petition to recall District 4 City Councilmember Helen Collins was filed in the Office of the City Clerk at 3:36 p.m. on February 17, 2015 by Mr. Robert Blancken.

The City Clerk appointed City of Colorado Springs Municipal Court Presiding Judge Hayden Kane II to serve as the hearing officer for the protest hearing on February 20, 2015.

A hearing of the protest concerning the petition to recall District 4 City Councilmember Helen Collins was held on March 2, 2015. City of Colorado Springs Municipal Court Presiding Judge Hayden Kane II conducted the hearing in accordance with the requirements for a quasi-judicial matter.

Judge Kane considered the evidence presented at the hearing and, after a thorough legal review, provided his findings in writing to City Clerk Sarah Johnson on March 10, 2015.

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