Ruben Elizalde, a City Council candidate who won the recent election by one vote and then lost the seat by two votes after a recount, sued the victor and the city Monday, charging that some ballots were incorrectly counted.
In his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit contesting the April 11 recount, Elizalde maintains that some ballots should not have been counted by City Clerk Hazel Thomas and that some ballots that were counted should have been rejected. He is seeking a court ruling declaring him the winner.
City Atty. William Camil said the "city clerk feels she ran the election properly and the results were accurate or she wouldn't have certified the results." Camil said the complaint is a "standard type of election contest" since there was only a two-vote difference after the recount. Only the contested ballots will be reviewed by a judge, Camil said.
On election night April 8, candidate Al Fuentes was the unofficial winner with two votes more than Elizalde. After the official canvass the next day, however, Elizalde was ahead by one vote and was declared the winner. Fuentes paid for a recount two days later, where he won by two votes after many ballots were invalidated because of improper markings. Fuentes was installed as a councilman in mid-April.