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August 17, 2011

Recall group to withdraw failed petition, vows new attempt

(Continued)

"We intend to bring this matter to the proper authorities," it said.

In a brief interview outside of City Hall yesterday, Mayor Lantigua questioned the group's motives and suggested its leaders were resorting to unfair and possibly improper tactics to reenergize the failed recall effort.

"Even though the reasons that were used were unfounded, they embarked on a democratic process called 'recall' and they went through the process clean, but they failed," Lantigua said.

"And now they're asking for everything to be erased so they can do it again? I think the City Charter is not a document to be played with," he said.

The mayor was entitled to file his own objections to any of the signatures submitted to the Board of Registrars or the procedures used in signatures-gathering process. But he would not say whether he had filed any written challenges.

The city's bilingual election coordinator Rafael Tejeda said the letter submitted by It's Your Right would be reviewed by the Board of Registrars. It was not clear when the board's next meeting will be held.

City Attorney Charles Boddy called the withdrawal notice from the recall group "a bizarre tactic."

"It's ironic and an unexpected turnabout where they're challenging the process by which they collected the signatures," Boddy said in a telephone interview last night.

"That's something you would expect the mayor to bring about. It's tantamount to an admission on their part that their process was flawed. It's a very strange maneuver and I don't understand what advantage they're getting from this," he said.

The Board of Registrars would have to schedule a meeting to consider the request and any objections if the mayor filed any. Some of the people who signed the petition might also object to the withdrawal and would have the right to be heard, according to Boddy.

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