News Alert

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 2:45pm

Judge Allows Recall Effort to Move Forward


POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 5:42pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 12:21pm

EL PASO - The process to recall Mayor John Cook and two City Reps. will continue. That's what a judge decided today, just one day after he signed a court order stopping the recall.

The judge said he didn't feel comfortable getting in the way of an election so he changed a court order that just yesterday brought the process to a halt. Now, Pastor Tom Brown and his supporters are free to drop off those signed recall petitions at city hall tomorrow.

A packed courtroom cleared out just moments after the judge made his decision to allow the recall effort of Mayor Cook and City Representatives Steve Ortega and Susie Byrd to move forward.

"John Cook lost, Judge Alvarez made a very wise decision in this case," said attorney Stuart Leeds.

Leeds and Teresa Caballero spent Wednesday morning fighting a temporary restraining order against their client, Pastor Tom Brown. The restraining order was filed by Mayor Cook. It brought the recall process to a halt Tuesday because part of it banned Brown from submitting his recall petitions to the city clerk.

But after a 2 hour hearing, the judge threw that part out, saying he didn't think it was right for a court to interfere with the recall election process.

"It was easy. It was easy to get the temporary restraining order modified because they were wrong," said Leeds.

Mayor Cook and his lawyers claim Pastor Brown and his supporters have been illegally gathering signatures in places like churches, something that violates the Texas Election Code. That's why they filed the temporary restraining order.

"He's trying to interfere with the democratic process again just like he did when he broke the tie to overturn the people's vote," said Leeds.

But Mayor Cook says it's not about stopping an election, it's about making sure it's fair.

"I respect the will of the people. A recall is something that requires the will of the people. But I don't want people to illegally follow the process or have irregularities or any fraud involved in the election process, because the election process is very sacred," said Cook during an interview with NewsChannel 9 Tuesday evening.

Pastor Brown wants Cook, Byrd and Ortega kicked out of office because they voted to restore health benefits to gay and domestic partners of city employees, after voters took the benefits away.

Pastor Brown needs about 6,100 signatures to hold a recall election for Mayor Cook, and another 650 signatures each for Byrd and Ortega. Brown's lawyers say they have more than enough. They plan to had the signatures to the city clerk at 2:00 p.m. Thursday.

NewsChannel 9 will have complete coverage.

Comments News Comments

Citizen G, you are living in a box!

After watching our beloved Tim Hardaway, who hasn't been to El Paso in over 20 years, comes to back to support Mayor Cook's incompetence, Hardaway brings his bankrupt self (losing his home only to be saved by an emergency Miami Heat loan), shows how low Mayor Cook will go. Hardaway was bashing gays long ago, its in his blood, and now he is a saved man.

Let the People's will be done. That is priority job one and foremost. Once the people have spoken then the rule of law must be followed. That is how this country has worked for over 200 years and we have the best government in the world because of the people. Not perfect, but definitely the best.

Mayor Cook "respects the will of the people", as he said, and that "the election process is very sacred." But that was NOT how he treated our sacredly processed votes to begin with! Our vote is the ONLY instrument of a democracy, and he disrespected our votes.

Cook is a self-serving two-faced hypocrite.

So Brown is allowed to disregard a very specific process with regard to collecting signatures. Do your followers truly understand that the reason our elected leaders voted to restore those benefits is because it had discrimination stamped all over your authored piece of legislation? "Discrimination" Brown, most citizens of El Paso should be all too aware of, and against, in any form. That's why we elect our officials Brown, to make informed decisions on our behalf, you're a hypocrite Brown.

Cook's remark "because the election process is very sacred" is in conflict with his actions. AND, when Cook says "It's not about stopping an election, it's about making sure it's fair". So do I understand that now he is playing God and deciding what is fair? He decides when and how the election process is fair and when the process is to be honored.

Who died and left him God? Yes, the election process is sacred and he has totally dishonored it.

"But Mayor Cook says it's not about stopping an election, it's about making sure it's fair."

What does it matter, they will change the vote anyway.

Thank you Judge Javier Alvarez for making the right decision. You are a good, decent, fair and honorable man.

How dare ook and the others reverse my vote. Throw the bums out.

First of all these people that want benefits are NOT married and why should these unmarried same sex people get benefits when our own kids off to college are dropped from Insurance coverage after 23 years of age. These children are legitimate. These parteners are not. Second of all, the vote had been won to NOT give these benefits to unmarried partners by the Citizens of El Paso. The vote should have counted, but was overturned by these self-righteous people at City Hall. They overturned the vot

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