City Clerk Brings Over Extra Staff to Verify Thousands of Signatures
POSTED: Monday, September 19, 2011 - 5:05pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 5:13pm
EL PASO - City workers are busy pouring through thousands of signatures on those recall petitions that Pastor Tom Brown turned in last week. The process could force a recall election for Mayor John Cook and two City Reps.
It's Municipal Clerk Richarda Momsen's job to verify thousands of signatures on the recall petitions and she only has until this weekend to do it. She told NewsChannel 9 everyone in her office is working extremely hard to get the job done.
Late last week Pastor Tom Brown and his supporters handed the Momsen three recall petitions. One for Mayor Cook, one for Representative Susie Byrd and another for Representative Steve Ortega. Brown says they collected around 15,000 signatures between all three petitions.
But those signatures now have to be verified. Momsen said she has 16 staff members dedicated to the job. They've already put in about 360 staff hours closely inspecting each signature. Momsen said some staff members have been brought over to City Hall from Municipal Court to help.
They have to make sure the signatures are from registered voters, some have to be in certain districts and the forms have to be legitimate. Brown needs about 1,600 verified signatures to force a recall election for Mayor Cook and about 650 each for Byrd and Ortega. Brown said he has more than enough.
If everything checks out, Momsen said a recall election could be held next May.
Brown and his supporters are trying to kick Mayor Cook and the two City Reps out of office because they voted to restore health benefits to gay and domestic partners of city employees, after voters took the benefits away.
Stay with NewsChannel 9 for updates every step of the way.