Judge rejects recall effort against Everett School Board

A Snohomish County Superior Court judge has turned down a request to launch a recall against all five Everett School Board members.

The request was made by Rodman Reynolds, who asserted in legal documents filed with the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office that the school board should be recalled for failing to have an auditing committee as required by law.

School board President Jeffrey Russell said there is an auditing committee, which is composed of all members of the board.

Superior Court Judge Anita Farris ruled Tuesday that there was insufficient evidence to allow the launching of a recall effort.

In addition, the state Auditor’s Office, in response to a request from Reynolds, said in an April 3 letter to him that the board has the ability to establish an auditing committee composed of the entire board.

“The district is not in violation of the law since the whole board is the audit committee,” Casey Dwyer, auditor manager, states in the letter.

Russell said the school board is grateful that the court dismissed Reynolds’ petition.

“We feel this is a vindication of the practice of this school board and how it carries out its auditing duties,” he said. “We consider financial oversight of the district a critical duty that each board member takes seriously.”

Even if the ruling had allowed the recall to move ahead, recall petitions would have had to be signed by 25 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the elections when each board member was elected, according to the county auditor’s office.

Reynolds, who ran for the school board in 2011, said he has the right to appeal the judge’s ruling to the state Supreme Court but at this time has no plans to do so.

“Just because there won’t be a special recall election doesn’t mean they won’t have to answer to the voters,” Reynolds said. Board seats held by Ed Petersen and Carol Andrews are up for election in November, he said.

And a bond issue of up to $200 million is expected to be put on the ballot next year, he said. “They’ll have to convince the voters to trust them with that sum of money with the amount of oversight that they’ve demonstrated.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

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