San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 08/22/13, 1:11 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> Petitions seeking to recall City Attorney James F. Penman and several City Council members must be counted, Superior Court Judge David Cohn ruled Thursday in a decision that will allow the recall election to be held on the same ballot as the regular election if enough signatures are considered valid.

An hour later, recall proponents filed what they say are more than 30,000 signatures to recall Penman, Councilman Chas Kelley and Councilwoman Wendy McCammack that City Clerk Gigi Hanna had previously refused to accept because she considered them improperly gathered. She had previously accepted petitions calling for the recall of Councilman John Valdivia.

“We’re very happy that the voters of San Bernardino can finally let their voices be heard on those who led our city into bankruptcy and who have failed the city for decades before that,” recall leader Scott Beard said. “We’re saddened by the fact that it has cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The people representing the city are spending taxpayer money to disrupt and we’re trying to save the city money.”

Thursday’s ruling requires Hanna to deliver the petitions to Registrar of Voters Michael Scarpello by noon today, which Scarpello said would allow his staff to validate the signatures in time for a Sept. 3 City Council meeting calling for a recall election. For any races in which there are enough valid signatures to cause a recall, candidates can file from Sept. 3-6 or provisionally file beginning Monday.

That means a recall election would be held Nov. 5, on the same ballot as the regularly scheduled election, costing the city less money than if a recall were held separately.

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