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Push to recall Pacific Mayor Cy Sun begins
The push to recall Pacific Mayor Cy Sun gained momentum on Thursday with the official signing and filing of the complaint against him.
Committee to Recall Cy Sun Chairman Don Thomson signed the 200-page document – a 28-page complaint with more than 170 pages of supporting evidence – at Pacific City Hall and turned it over to lawyer Jeffery Helsdon.
“All I can say is I can’t give enough credit to all the volunteers,” Thomson said. “The work they’ve done is phenomenal.”
The complaint documents the hostile work environment the committee alleges Sun has created since he assumed office in January, including “use of threats, retaliation for opposing opinions and harassment.”
“The City of Pacific is now without a single department head,” the committee wrote in a press release. “All department heads have either quit or been fired by Mayor Sun. There is no executive-level functioning in any department, leaving the City at great risk of complete failure.”
The complaint also cites former employees who have filed legal complaints against the City and Sun, including former City Clerk Jane Montgomery, who has filed a claim for damages of $2.2 million.
Helsdon now will turn the complaint over to the King County Auditor and Elections office, which will forward it to the King County Prosecutor.
According to Helsdon – who along with his attorney partner Thomas Oldfield successfully shepherded a recall petition of Pierce County Auditor Dale Washam through the courts in 2011 – the King County Prosecutor will then determine whether the allegations against Sun warrant filing the petition, which starts the legal process of the recall. If the prosecutor determines the charges are valid, he will draft the language of the petition and the ballot synopsis and file it with King County Superior Court.
“If the judge approves, then that will be the language on the ballot,” Helsdon said, adding that the judge can change or add to the ballot synopsis.
Once the judge approves, Helsdon said, he will file a sufficiency hearing motion on behalf of the committee.
“The judge’s job then is not to determine the truth of the charges, but rather to find if there is factual and legal sufficiency of the charges of misfeasance and malfeasance,” Helsdon said.
If the judge rules for the recall petition, Sun can appeal the decision to the Washington State Supreme Court.
If no appeal is filed, the Committee must wait 16 days before beginning to collect the more than 405 signatures needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.
Once the required number of signatures is gathered and verified, a vote must be held within 45-60 days.
“When I said I wanted to do a recall and needed help, a lot of people stepped up,” Thomson said. “I’m just overwhelmed with where we’re at right now.”