The judge originally dismissed six of seven charges alleged in the recall petition, and narrowed the seventh. Attorneys for Durkan argued in their motion that she has no “legal or constitutional duty” to set policies for SPD — that responsibility, according to the City Charter, lies with the Chief of Police. But in her order today, Roberts said that the charge she allowed to go forward more broadly alleges that the Mayor failed to fulfill her obligation to protect the health and well-being of the community.
Roberts’ responsibility in certifying the petition is not to determine whether the charges are true; that responsibility lies with the voters, if the petition goes to the ballot. Her job is to assume that the charges are true, and then judge whether they reach the legal threshold for the a recall of the Mayor.
Now we wait to see if Mayor Durkan appeals Roberts’ certification of the recall petition. Generally speaking, litigants are only allowed to argue issues on appeal that they raised with the lower court; Durkan’s motion for reconsideration was crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on that point so that she is free to raise those issues on appeal.
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