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Irregularities Void Recall Attempts

July 25, 1993|JILL GOTTESMAN

An effort to oust two City Council members unexpectedly collapsed last week after county election officials invalidated more than half of the signatures on recall petitions.

The disqualifications brought to an abrupt halt the attempt to recall Mayor Frank B. Duran and Councilman Rodolfo (Rudy) Garcia, who won council seats about 18 months ago after four council members were recalled.

Organizers of the latest recall effort had submitted 2,100 signatures, 700 more than needed to force a November election, but county election officials threw out 1,084 signatures, leaving the effort 316 short.

Hundreds of signatures were disqualified for technical violations. In some cases, the petitions abbreviated the city's name rather than spelling it out. Officials also disqualified several signatures in which it was apparent that someone else had filled out the address, according to Mike Martinet, acting city clerk.

County officials found a number of other irregularities on the petitions, including several signatures that did not match signatures on county voter registration cards, names that appeared on the petitions several times, and names of residents who were not registered to vote, Martinet said.

Recall proponent Leo McIntyre, a Bell Gardens businessman who spent more than $13,000 on the recall attempt, said that he plans to make another bid to oust the two councilmen. "Sure, I'm disappointed, but I refuse to quit," he said.

Recall organizers would have to start over, serving the councilmen again with recall notices, seeking the city clerk's approval of the petition wording and gathering at least 1,400 signatures.

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