Hanson recall proponents seek writ to overturn county clerk’s decision
Aug. 10, 2012 — Tom Hammond, one of the proponents seeking the recall of Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson, today filed a petition for a writ of mandate in Lassen County Superior Court. A writ of mandate is a court order to a government agency to follow the law by correcting its prior actions or ceasing illegal acts.
In May Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante rejected about 70 recall petition sheets because they contained a typographical error — a misspelling of one of the proponent’s names. Bustamante said she had previously rejected that form because of the error, but the recall proponents allege she approved the form with the error.
According to the petition, the error is minor and would not affect “substantial compliance with the law.”
Bustamante’s decision “was contrary to law, an abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction,” the pleading reads. “This rejection for a de minimus error not affecting the content of the petition disenfranchises the electors of District 5 thus violates fundamental constitutional rights and is contrary to statute and case law.”
The court is asked to compel the county clerk to “accept the wording in the rejected petition sheets, find the petitions were timely filed and initiate the next steps in the recall election of District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson.”
Bustamante declined to comment on the court filing, but she said the county expects to file a response soon.
The newspaper could not reach Hanson for comment.
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