There were neither legal nor factual grounds to justify a recall petition against a Lake Stevens area drainage district official, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In a 9-0 decision, the high court overturned Snohomish County Superior Court Judge James Allendoerfer in the case of Robert Carkeek, a commissioner for Drainage District 8.
To recall a public official, there must be legal grounds and factual grounds to support taking the question to the voters, said Daniel Johnson, Carkeek’s Everett attorney.
The high court found that in this case, a recall was legally insufficient because Carkeek did not intend to violate the law, only protect himself by securing an anti-harassment order against some neighbors.
The anti-harassment order prohibited the neighbors from attending public meetings. He alleged the neighbors had attacked him.
The Supreme Court found “the allegation that commissioner Carkeek committed misfeasance, malfeasance or violation of the oath of office unsupported by the record.”
It also found Carkeek had a legal justification for seeking the anti-harassment order.
The neighbors filed five charges against Carkeek. The judge found one of them was sufficient for a recall petition to go on the ballot and rewrote the ballot title.