The effort to recall Spokane Mayor David Condon was stopped in its tracks on Tuesday, as a judge ruled none of the charges against the mayor were sufficient to move forward.
In order for the recall effort to move forward to the next step of gathering signatures to eventually put it on a ballot, the judge would have needed to find at least one of the charges against the mayor to be “factually and legally sufficient.”
However, in a hearing that lasted just about an hour, Judge Blaine Gibson ruled that none of the charges against Condon were sufficient to continue the recall process.
The court set aside the entire afternoon for visiting Yakima County Judge Gibson to consider the four charges in support of the recall of Mayor Condon.
The recall effort related to the handling of the forced resignation of Frank Straub as well as the sexual harassment allegations against Straub. Another charge asserted Condon failed to act within Spokane Municipal Code when he appointed Craig Meidl as police chief.
Chief source of evidence for petitioner David Green? The controversial Seabold Report, commissioned by the City of Spokane earlier this year.
You could tell immediately, Judge Gibson had concerns with Green's sources, which included the investigative report's findings and media articles about the ongoing mayoral issues.
And, in less than hour, Judge Gibson dismissed all four charges against Mayor Condon, thus dismissing the recall case altogether.
Green said, going into the hearing, he thought the first charge was the strongest. Green said he is disappointed with the end result, but doesn't plan to appeal the decision.
Mayor Condon released the following statement about the recall decision:
“Today’s decision was the right result. With the recall petition dismissed, I look forward to continuing to do the work the voters hired me to do – fixing our streets, growing jobs, bringing down property crimes, and ending homelessness. It is my highest honor to serve the people of the City of Spokane.
The City has already begun taking steps to avoid this situation going forward. As part of my 21st Century Workforce initiative, I have directed my staff to review and revise the City’s policies surrounding harassment allegations. I have also directed a review of our public records requests process, and will soon be empaneling a Blue Ribbon Commission to do a deep dive on public records policy, using Spokane as a case study.
One lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that the Mayor and City Council need to learn to work together for the good of the whole city, and put politics to the side. I agree with Council President Stuckart that Spokane’s future is bright and look forward to working with him and the rest of the Council to make Spokane the City of Choice.”