Monday afternoon prosecutors served Spokane Mayor David Condon with a synopsis, or ballot language, of the four charges he'll face in an upcoming Superior Court hearing in less than two weeks.
It's only been two weeks since recall charges were filed against Condon, and now that recall is heading to a fourth floor courtroom at the Spokane County Courthouse on fast track scheduled as outlined by state law that could have supporters gathering signatures as soon as a month from now.
The recall synopsis includes the very language that could appear on a special election ballot, but before that happens a judge will decide if any of the allegations leveled against Condon appear to be valid.
“In that court hearing it will be determined if those charges rise to the level of misfeasance, malfeasance or violation of oath of office. It's just evaluating are they serious enough to meet those definitions,” Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said.
Condon will face four specific charges at a hearing now set for September 12. Three of them deal with a sexual harassment claim against former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub and allege Condon covered it up. The fourth charge is that Condon appointed Craig Meidl as Spokane's new police chief without seeking confirmation from the city council.
If a judge just finds one of the charges valid, recall supporters can start gathering signatures.
“The sponsors of the recall can start collecting signatures on the petition. They have 180 days in which to collect 25 percent of the signatures of the votes cast in the previous mayoral election,” Dalton said.
That works out to be 12,335 valid signatures from just registered voters within the City of Spokane. Fortunately for Condon that's a tall order to fill. The last time Spokane recalled a mayor was when Jim West was recalled in 2005.
If everything remains on schedule, the earliest a special recall election could get underway if the first week of Jun, and getting a recall ballot into the hands of voters will cost at least $250,000.