HAWAIIAN GARDENS — The city clerk, citing technical deficiencies, has ruled that a recall notice against Councilwoman Kathleen Navejas is invalid.
Clerk Carol Dorfmeyer said the first notice, which was filed Monday against Navejas, failed to include the full text of the state law that governs recalls. All recall notices, she said, must be accompanied by the full text.
But recall organizers said they would draw up another notice as soon as possible. The recall notice was signed by Joe Cabrera, an unsuccessful City Council candidate last year, and another resident, Beatrice A. Allen.
Backers of the recall said Navejas used city phones and city credit cards for personal purposes. They also accused her of malfeasance in office. Navejas' attorney, Larry Minsky of Long Beach, said last week that the councilwoman would not answer questions about allegations.
The Navejas recall effort is one of three against council members. Cabrera and his group have also prepared a recall notice against Councilwoman Esther Flores, a political ally of Navejas. The Flores notice has not been served, however, because the councilwoman is hospitalized.
After being targeted for recall, Navejas and a supporter launched a recall effort against Councilman Domenic Ruggeri, who is allied with leaders of the recall move against Navejas. They charged that Ruggeri also made personal calls on city phones, pressured city administrators to hire his daughter-in-law, Debby Ruggeri, a recreation supervisor, and pressured the city Dial-A-Ride to transport his wife, Frances. Ruggeri denied any wrongdoing.
The city clerk previously rejected the recall notice by Navejas and Public Safety Commissioner Mary Corrales on technical grounds. Navejas and Corrales have not filed a new notice against Ruggeri.
If either side proceeds with the recall efforts, a special election eventually would be held to resolve the issue.