Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/07/2012 09:49:14 PM PDT
Special Section: San Bernardino
SAN BERNARDINO – Attorney Tim Prince told Councilman Chas Kelley he would pursue a recall if and only if Kelley voted against putting charter repeal on November’s ballot, Prince said Tuesday.
“I expressly told him, I don’t expect you to personally support repeal of the charter. What I do expect and demand of you is that you give the people the right to vote,” Prince said. “Despite all the errors he’s made, despite driving us into bankruptcy, he could have just let the people have their say.”
The District Attorney’s Office received a complaint Tuesday and is investigating, said spokesman Chris Lee.
Kelley said he considered the threat to be an attempted bribe.
“Someone was trying to coerce my vote, and that’s inappropriate, unacceptable, and I made that quite clear yesterday,” he said on Tuesday.
California penal code defines a bribe as “anything of value or advantage” given or promised with a “corrupt intent to influence.”
That probably wouldn’t apply to a threat to do something that is legal, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School.
“It’s certainly a threat, but is it chargeable? I’m not sure,” she said. “It’s along the lines of, ‘I’m not going to vote for Jerry Brown unless he pursues pension reform.”‘
Prince gave Kelley a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition just before discussion began on whether to add a ballot measure to repeal the city’s charter.
Kelley, whom Prince said was a swing vote, joined a 4-3 decision not to put charter repeal on the ballot.
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