Secretary of State Kevin Shelley is monitoring the effort to recall Lynwood Councilman Paul Richards amid accusations that City Clerk Andrea Hooper is showing bias in the process.
Hooper has been ordered by state officials to notify them before taking any actions regarding the recall. Shelley's office made the move late last month after residents complained of irregularities.
"The secretary of state is concerned that the highest degree of voter confidence in the integrity of the election process be maintained," wrote John Mott-Smith, chief of the elections division, in a letter to Hooper recently obtained by The Times.
This week, Hooper's office took nearly one week to pick up signature-verification results from the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office. The delay, which Hooper said was due to miscommunication between the county and her office, deepened suspicions among recall backers, who include two councilmen, that Hooper is trying to manipulate the process.