EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 17, 2011

Recall group to withdraw failed petition, vows new attempt

LAWRENCE — The group which initiated the unsuccessful petition to recall Mayor William Lantigua announced yesterday it was withdrawing the document while organizers "reserve the right to re-petition a recall as soon as possible."

"Since there has been no recall election, a new recall petition can be commenced immediately," leaders of It's Your Right said in a one-page letter filed with the city Election Division.

"We have concluded that the City Clerk has not followed the Lawrence City Charter provisions under Section 9.7(b) by not dating and signing the recall petition at the time it was made available to the organizers," group leaders Wayne Hayes and Rev. Edwin Rodriguez noted in the letter they submitted late yesterday afternoon.

"We are requesting that this withdrawal be made a part of the permanent record for the City of Lawrence so that future generations will better understand the process of free election, the letter said.

The "Notice Of Withdrawal Of Recall Petition Dated August 8, 2011" was filed at 4:38 p.m., just 22 minutes before closing of City Hall official business and the deadline for filing objections to last week's determination by the Board of Registrars that the campaign to remove Lantigua had failed by 866 signatures.

The letter, printed on DiFruscia Law Offices stationery, was prepared with assistance from attorneys Anthony R. DiFruscia, Robert O'Koniewski and Jack Wilson, Jr., the legal team working pro bono on behalf of It's Your Right. The letter was addressed to City Clerk William Maloney and the Board of Registrars.

Recall group leaders also noted their objection to many of the 5,483 signatures on the recall petition being listed on a website supporting the mayor, "which was has certainly been done for the purpose of intimidation and interfering with the Lawrence citizens' constitutional rights of free election."

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