Recall attempted against Gold Bar mayor

GOLD BAR – An attempt to get a recall campaign going against Mayor Colleen Hawkins was filed with the Snohomish County auditor on Thursday by Joan Amenn, who is married to City Councilman Robert Amenn.

Hawkins works for the city of Sammamish as an administrative assistant. Joan Amenn accuses Hawkins of breaking state law by using e-mail to direct work on her election campaign while on the job in Sammamish.

Amenn also accuses Hawkins, who was elected in November, of using e-mail during her work hours to perform her duties as Gold Bar’s mayor.

Hawkins could not be reached for comment Thursday. “I was operating under the permission granted by my supervisor,” Hawkins said earlier this week.

Pete Butkus, Sammamish’s assistant city manager, said Hawkins had the permission of her boss.

The city also learned that Hawkins spent many extra hours outside the office doing her job for Sammamish’s public works department, Butkus said.

“This is a very dedicated, hard-working employee for the city of Sammamish,” Butkus said.

Hawkins has since stopped using Sammamish’s e-mail for her mayoral work, Butkus said. She also paid back $2.10 for faxing information to Gold Bar.

Sammamish is planning to take no further action, Butkus said. “I’m professionally satisfied we can put this behind us,” he said.

The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office has 15 days to prepare the petition for Superior Court, said Carolyn Diepenbrock, the county’s elections manager. The court will hold a public hearing, then decide within 15 days if the recall petition has merit.

If approved, recall supporters would have 180 days to collect 151 signatures from registered voters in the city for the recall to move forward. To pass, a majority of voters would then have to approve the recall.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or ynohara@heraldnet.com.

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