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MISC: 2009 RECALL PETITION LYTHGOE MISC: 2009 RECALL PETITION LYTHGOE Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder P. O. Box H Boulder, Montana 59632 Bonnie Ramey ,K ^r' County Clerk and Recorder Carla Matlack ` Deputy ('. r 4: .A r Jackie Colombe P.O. Box 52 Basin, Mt. 59631 October 15, 2009 Re: Recall Petition Ms. Colombe, The recall petition for Commissioner Tom Lythgoe has been rejected as per the attached legal opinion. The opinion was issued for this office by independent legal counsel in Lewis and Clark County. You have the option of correcting the flaws and re-submitting the petition to this office or petitioning the District Court for a writ of mandamus if you believe the petition meets the statutory requirements. Sincerely, Wt. ♦ • Bonnie Ramey 4 Clerk and Recorder Office of the Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher Carolyn A.Clemens,Deputy / ` sr Melissa Broth.Deputy K.Paul Stahl,Deputy JerfSealey,Deputy Lisa Leckie,Deputy lx i € Mary Cochenaur. Mike Menahan,Deputy Deputy Tara A.Harris,Deputy • Katie Jerstad,Deputy 228 Broadway-Courthouse Helena,Montana 59601 (406)447-8221 FAX(406)447-8268 Bonnie Ramey Clerk and Recorder/Assessor PO Box H Boulder, MT 59632 Re: Second and Amended Recall Petition Dear Ms. Ramey: This office has received a second recall petition form submitted by Jackie Colombe for review by your office on October 15, 2009. This petition, like the first, seeks a recall election for Tom Lythgoe, Jefferson County Commissioner. You sought a legal opinion from the Jefferson County Attorney's office regarding the sufficiency of the petition's form. Certain allegations in the petition create a conflict for the Jefferson County Attorney's Office; hence, the Lewis and Clark County Attorney has been asked to review the recall petition form and advise you of its legal sufficiency. The following is the legal opinion of the Lewis and Clark County Attorney regarding whether the second recall petition form submitted by Ms. Colombe meets the requirements under the Montana Recall Act. In general, a recall petition has four types of requirements: (1) size and format; (2) number of pages; (3) warning and preamble; and (4) sworn, definite, and specific statement of facts. (1) Size and Format The petition, which includes the circulation sheet where electors write their signatures, must be no more than 8 1/2"by 14"(or a continuous sheet folded in those dimensions). Section 2-16-617(1), MCA. Circulation sheets must have a solid black line across the top of every sheet at least 11/2"from the top of each sheet. The space above that line is to remain blank. Section 2-16-617(1), MCA. (2) Number of Pages and Numbered Lines There may be multiple copies of a petition to recall the same person, but each must be identical to the original and contain a separate, notarized certification. Each petition may contain not more than 25 circulation sheets. Section 2-16-617(2), MCA. The submitted petition contains only one circulation sheet; therefore, these requirements have not been triggered yet. Numbered lines are to follow the Warning and Recall Petition language. Each numbered line must contain spaces for signature, address, and printed last name of the signer. This form requirement of numbered lines has been met. (3) Recall Petition and Warning language The petition must contain language substantially similar to the following and also contain a brief statement of the reasons for recall as indicated in bold below: RECALL PETITION To the Honorable[Bonnie Ramey, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder: We, the undersigned, qualified electors of the[Jefferson County, in the State of Montana,] respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether[Torn Lythgoe], holding the office of[Jefferson County Commissioner,] should be recalled for the following reasons: (Insert a statement of facts of not more than 200 words that establishes the basis for the recall petition.) By signing this petition each signer certifies. I have personally signed this petition; I am a qualified elector of the state of Montana and[Jefferson County];and my residence and post-office address are correctly written after my name. The petition must contain the following paragraph just prior to the signature lines: WARNING A person who knowingly signs a name other than the person's own to this petition, who signs the person's name more than once upon a petition to recall the same officer at one election, or who is not, at the time of signing this petition, a qualified elector of the state of Montana entitled to vote for the successor of the elected officer to be recalled or the successor or successors of the officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to the position held by the appointed officer to be recalled is punishable by a f ne of no more than $ 500 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both, or a fine of$500 or imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both. • The proposed petition contains the required warning found in § 2-16-616, MCA, but it must be placed just prior to the signature lines rather than at the top of the petition. (4) Sworn, Definite, and Specific Statement of Facts The accompanying reasons given for recall do not meet the statutory requirements. The general written statement of reasons for recall must be a clear, definite, and specific statement of facts, and the facts must constitute the grounds for recall. It is not enough for a recall petition to allege only the statutory criteria for recall that are set forth in § 2-16-603(3), MCA. The filing officer(election administrator) is obliged to consider whether the statement of facts supports the reason for recall and meet the statutory requirements. See Steadman v. Holland, 197 Mont. 45, 53, 641 P.2d 448, 453 (1982), The filing officer must look for a clear statement of the alleged acts constituting the grounds for recall. Steadman, 197 Mont. at 54, 641 P.2d at 453. Steadman clearly states that insufficient factual support is grounds for rejection because it fails to meet the requirements of form for recall petitions. In Foster v. Kovich, 207 Mont. 139, 673 P,2d 1239 (1983),the Montana Supreme Court held that allegations that are conclusory and general are insufficient under the Steadman rule and do not constitute grounds for recall under § 2-16-603(3), MCA. The Court in Foster also concluded that a recall petition may never reach the electorate if it fails to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall under § 2-16-603(3), MCA. For purposes of this memo, I have broken down the reasons stated for recall in the proposed petition and have responded to each accordingly: (1) Mr. Lythgoe did not follow proper procedure when he learned there was embezzlement. The petitioner does not provide any guidance as to what the"proper procedure" should have been or should be. There are no statutes either in criminal law or commissioner's powers and duties or in duties of any other public employee or in employer-employee relations that give rise to a proper procedure upon learning of an alleged embezzlement. (2) Mr. Lythgoe violated open meeting laws by writing a memo stating the Commission would not prosecute the embezzler. This is a conclusory allegation. There is no evidence or law provided in the petition supporting the notion that by writing a memo, Mr. Lythgoe violated the Constitution or statutes relating to open meeting laws. (3) Mr, Lythgoe gave the memo to the Commission Secretary and directed her to get the other Commissioner's signatures. This is not illegal; it happens day in and day out in every city and county in the country. (4) A quorum of the commission never met to act upon the matter. This action could be deemed an administrative or a personnel issue, either of which exempt the action from the requirement for a quorum or open meeting. In addition, if there were merit in the allegation, there is no rationale why Mr. Lythgoe is solely responsible for not meeting. (S) Mr. Lythgoe sent the memo to Solid Waste Employees. This action could be deemed an administrative or a personnel issue, either of which exempt the action from the requirement for a quorum or open meeting. (6) Mr. Lythgoe made a deal fbr a deferred sentence. Mr. Lythgoe has no statutory duty or authority to make a deal for a deferred sentence. (7) Mr. Lythgoe did not consult with the Sheriff County Attorney, or the Personnel Officer, There is no duty for the Commission to consult with anyone on this or any other matter. (8) Mr. Lythgoe violated his oath of office to uphold Article III§ 1, of the Montana Constitution. Article III § I talks of the separation of the judicial, administrative, and legislative branches. Making deals and writing memos does not implicate this provision. In addition, I assume that the petition suggests Mr. Lythgoe stepped into the judicial branch. I-Ie did not. The County Attorney is in the administrative branch as is the Commission. (9) Mr. Lythgoe cost the taxpayers an unknown amount of money. There is not a factual basis for this allegation. Even if there were, there is nothing illegal; some would say it happens all of the time. Conclusion Let me reemphasize that the Montana Supreme Court has stated, "[t}he legal sufficiency of the allegations [in a recall petition} are not left to the electorate. Therefore, a petition may never reach the electorate because it fails to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall under Section 2-16-603(3) of the Recall Act." Foster, 207 Mont. at 150, 673 P.2d at 1246. This petition fails to be legally sufficient because the allegations fail to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall of Mr. Lythgoe. Therefore, it is my opinion that the petition must be rejected for failure to meet form requirements under § 2-16-607, MCA. The petitioner may correct these flaws or may petition the District Court for a writ of mandamus if she believes the petition meets the statutory requirements. K. Paul Stahl Chief Deputy County Attorney Lewis and Clark County RECALL PETITION FOR TOM LYTHGOE To the Honorable Bonnie Ramey,Jefferson County Election Administrator: We,the undersigned qualified electors of Jefferson County, in the State of Montana, respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether Tom Lythgoe,holding the office of Jefferson County Commissioner, should be recalled for the following reasons: In September,2009, Mr. Lythgoe learned that embezzlement was occurring in the Solid Waste division of Jefferson County,yet did not follow proper procedure in dealing with the matter. He violated open meeting laws by personally writing a memo to the Solid Waste employees stating that the commission would withhold prosecution for the embezzler;then gave the memo to the Commissioners Secretary and told her to have the other commissioners sign it. The convening of a quorum of Commissioners,to hear, discuss, or act upon this matter never happened. Once signed,Lythgoe sent the memo to the Solid Waste employees. The embezzler came forward and Lythgoe made a deal for "deferred sentence" -yet Montana Code clearly states that this action is only the Prosecutors' right. Lythgoe did not consult with the Sheriff; County Attorney;or Personnel Officer,and violated his oath of office to uphold the Montana Constitution Article III, Sec 1. He cost the taxpayers an unknown amount of money as the amounts recorded as lost include only amounts missing from receipt books turned in to the County ($39,630); but do not include amounts recorded in 14 missing receipt books,which won't be covered by County Insurance. I hereby swear that the facts asserted herein are true and correct. Signed and sworn,this 914) day of October,2009. 1111/: ckie Colombe 4 Valley Street Basin Montana STATE OF MONTANA, COUNTY OF JEFFERSON, ss.: On this day, personally appeared before me to me known to be the person(s) described in and who executed the within and foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he/she signed the same as his/her voluntary act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned. Witness my hand and official seal hereto affixed this day of �, F G E:',.'..-RAMEY '1QONc NOTARY PUBLIC forte of Montana 4] $ 110,.a1&i& ,r116%Q1.- $t r SEAL Res:tnaa'Bo der, Malt.aria ;' 1�5,C"mss on Expires Notary Public in and for the Sttae of f O�ober3�,2610 My commission expires /6 d. WARNING A person who knowingly signs a name other than the person's own to this petition,who signs the person's name more than once upon a petition to recall the same officer at one election,or who is not,at the time of signing this petition,a qualified elector of the state of Montana entitled to vote for the successor of the elected officer to be recalled or the successor or successors of the officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to the position held by the appointed officer to be recalled is punishable by a fine of no more than$500 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both,or a fine of$500 or imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years,or both. RECALL PETITION FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHAIR TOM LYTHGOE To the Honorable Bonnie Ramey, Jefferson County Election Administrator: We,the undersigned qualified electors of Jefferson County,in the State of Montana,respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether Tom Lythgoe,holding the office of Jefferson County Commissioner, should be recalled for the following reasons: In September,2009,Mr.Lythgoe learned that embezzlement was occurring in the Solid Waste division of Jefferson County, yet did not follow proper procedure in dealing with the matter.He violated open meeting laws by personally writing a memo to the Solid Waste employees stating that the commission would withhold prosecution for the embezzler;then gave the memo to the Commissioners Secretary and told her to have the other commissioners sign it.The convening of a quorum of Commissioners,to hear,discuss,or act upon this matter never happened.Once signed,Lythgoe sent the memo to the Solid Waste employees.The embezzler came forward and Lythgoe made a deal for"deferred sentence"-yet Montana Code clearly states that this action is only the Prosecutors'right. Lythgoe did not consult with the Sheriff;County Attorney;or Personnel Officer,and violated his oath of office to uphold the Montana Constitution Article III,sec 1. He cost the taxpayers an unknown amount of money as the amounts recorded as lost include only amounts missing from receipt books turned in to the County ($39,630);but do not include amounts recorded in 14 missing receipt books,which won't be covered by County Insurance. Each signer certifies: I have personally signed this petition;l am a qualified elector of the state of Montana and specifically,of Jefferson County;and my residence and post-office address are correctly written after my name. Signature Printed Name Residence and Post Office Address 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. _ 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. RECEIVED 20. OCT 0 -9 RECD Ans'd This petition must contain the signatures of qualified electors equaling at least 15%of the number of persons registered to vote at the preceding county general election;and must also contain the signatures from at least 15%of the qualified electors residing in that commissioner's commission district. I _ — Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder P. O. Box H Boulder, Montana 59632 s ; Bonnie Ramey ,er County Clerk and Recorder Carla Matlack , Deputy Jackie Colombe P.O. Box 52 Basin,Mt. 59631 October 7, 2009 Re: Recall Petition Ms. Colombe, The recall petition for Commissioner Tom Lythgoe has been rejected as per the attached legal opinion. The opinion was issued for this office by independent legal counsel in Lewis and Clark County. You have the option of correcting the flaws and re-submitting the petition to this office or petitioning the District Court for a writ of mandamus if you believe the petition meets the statutory requirements. Sincerely, Bonnie Ramey Clerk and Recorder Office of the Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher Carolyn A.Clemens,Deputy ` 4 Melissa l3roch,Deputy K.Saul Stahl,Deputy /w— 3eff Scoley,Deputy Lisa Leckie,Deputy • �:`, Mary Cochenour,Deputy Mike Monahan,Deputy Katie Ierstad,Deputy Tara A.Harris,Deputy 228 Broadway-Courthouse Helena,Montana 59601 (406)447-8221 FAX(406)447-8268 Bonnie Ramey Clerk and Recorder!Assessor PO Box H Boulder, MT 59632 Re: Recall Petition Dear Ms. Ramey: This office has received the recall petition form submitted by Jackie Colombe for review by your office on October 2, 2009. This petition seeks a recall election for Tom Lythgoe, Jefferson County Commissioner. You sought a legal opinion from the Jefferson County Attorney's office regarding the sufficiency of the petition's form. Certain allegations in the petition create a conflict for the Jefferson County Attorney's Office; hence, the Lewis and Clark County Attorney has been asked to review the recall petition form and advise you of its legal sufficiency. The following is the legal opinion of the Lewis and Clark County Attorney regarding whether the current recall petition form submitted by Ms. Colombe meets the requirements under the Montana Recall Act, Section 2-16-617(3), MCA, provides that"[t]he filing officer shall review the [recall] petition for sufficiency as to form and approve or reject the form of the petition, stating the reasons for rejection, within 1 week of receiving the sheet." The specific criteria for review of the petition's form are found at §§ 2-16-616 and 2-16-617, MCA. In general, a recall petition has four types of requirements: (1) size and format; (2)number • of pages; (3)warning and preamble; and (4) sworn, definite, and specific statement of facts. (1) Size and Format The petition,which includes the circulation sheet where electors write their signatures,must be no more than 8 ''A"by 14" (or a continuous sheet folded in those dimensions). Section 2-16- 617(1), MCA. Circulation sheets must have a solid black line across the top of every sheet at least 1'12" from the top of each sheet, The space above that line is to remain blank. Section 2-16-617(1), MCA. These requirements of form appear to be met, although the faxed version of the petition makes it appear to be 8 inches by 11 inches. (2) Number of Pages and Numbered Lines There may be multiple copies of a petition to recall the same person, but each must be identical to the original and contain a separate, notarized certification, Each petition may contain not more than 25 circulation sheets. Section 2-16-617(2), MCA. These petitions only contain one circulation sheet;therefore, these requirements have not been triggered yet. Numbered lines are to follow the Warning and Recall Petition language. Each numbered line must contain spaces for signature, address,and printed last name of the signer. This form requirement of numbered lines has been met. (3) Recall Petition and Warning language The petition must contain a paragraph that is substantially similar to the following and contains a brief statement of the reason for recall as indicated in italics below: RECALL PETITION To the Honorable [Bonnie Ramey, Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder: We, the undersigned, qualified electors of the [Jefferson County, in the State of Montana,] respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether [Tom Lythgoe],holding the office of[Jefferson County Commissioner,] should be recalled for the following reasons: (Insert a statement of facts of not more than 200 words that establishes the basis for the recall petition.) By signing this petition each signer certifies: I have personally signed this petition; I am a qualified elector of the state of Montana and [Jefferson County]; and my residence and post-office address are correctly written after my name. The proposed petition contains the required recall petition language; however, the proposed petition also contains the language"to the best of my knowledge and belief' after the certification that the "residence and post-office address are correctly written after my name." The language, "to the best of my knowledge and belief"is generally not accepted on petition forms. Braach v. Graybeal, 1999 MT 234,296 Mont. 138 (Stating facts "to the best of'petitioner's knowledge is not sufficient.) Also see Sheehy v. Fes da, 235 Mont. 63, 765 P.2d 722 (1988). However, in this instance,where the rest of the paragraph tracks with the required language, the addition of this phrase neither hurts nor helps the form of this petition. The petition must contain the following paragraph just prior to the signature lines: WARNING 2 A person who knowingly signs a name other than the person's own to this petition, who signs the person's name more than once upon a petition to recall the same officer at one election, or who is not,at the time of signing this petition,a qualified elector of the state of Montana entitled to vote for the successor of the elected officer to be recalled or the successor or successors of the officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to the position held by the appointed officer to be recalled is punishable by a fine of no more than$ 500 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both, or a fine of$ 500 or imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both. The proposed petition contains the required warning found in § 2-16-616, MCA. (4) Sworn,Definite, and Specific Statement of Facts The proposed recall petition form submitted by Ms. Colombe is not accompanied by a sworn statement of facts. The accompanying reasons given for recall do not meet the statutory requirements of form because(1)the statement is not sworn to by the petitioner; and (2)the statement contains no facts but only mere accusations. A petition must be accompanied by a sworn written statement of facts supporting the reason for the recall. Section 2-16-617(4), MCA. The facts must be sworn to by at least 1 petitioner, before a person authorized to administer oaths, such as a notary,in essentially the following format: "I hereby swear that the facts asserted herein are true and correct. " The reasons given for recall on this petition are not sworn to in the manner described above. The general written statement of reasons for recall must be a clear, definite,and specific statement of facts and the facts must constitute the grounds for recall. It is not enough for a recall petition to allege only the statutory criteria for recall that are set forth in § 2-16-603(3),MCA. The filing officer(election administrator)is obliged to consider whether the statement of facts supports the reason for recall and meet the statutory requirements. See Steadman v. Holland, 197 Mont. 45, 53,641 P.2d 448, 453 (1982). The filing officer must look for a clear statement of the alleged acts constituting the grounds for recall. Steadman, 197 Mont. at 54, 641 P.2d at 453. Steadman clearly states that insufficient factual support is grounds for rejection because it fails to meet the requirements of form for recall petitions. The Montana Supreme Court considered an allegation of incompetence in a recall petition in Foster v. Kovich, 207 Mont. 139, 673 P.2d 1239 (1983). The petition sought a recall election for the mayor for incompetence based on his failure to conduct an orderly council meeting on February 4, 1982, and his use of vulgar language while conducting that meeting. "The charge neither specified how the meeting was disorderly nor set forth the words used that were allegedly `vulgar.'" Foster, 207 Mont. at 149, 673 P.2d at 1245. The Court held that these allegations were conclusory 3 and genera],making them insufficient under the Steadman rule,and that neither allegation constituted grounds for recall under § 2-16-603(3),MCA. The Court in Foster concludes that a petition may never reach the electorate if it fails to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall under § 2-16-603(3), MCA. Ms. Colombe's petition contains insufficient factual support. It contains no clear statement of the statutory reason for recall (one of the five reasons provided under §2-16-603(3), MCA). The reasons given may be an attempt to show official misconduct;however,these reasons do not rise to the level of facts that demonstrate official misconduct. Ms. Colombe accuse the Commissioner of overstepping authority by creating rules, misquoting the MCA, acting as a judge,sidestepping proper legal channels,playing political favorites to felons, abusing discretion, wasting taxpayer money, allowing embezzlement, and acting as a prosecutor. This statement contains no specifics such as what rules he created and when, when he acted as a judge or prosecutor, and when and how he allowed embezzlement. This statement is similarly conclusive and general as the statement in Foster. For those reasons, this statement fails to sufficiently constitute grounds for recall because it is not clear, definite,and specific under the Steadman rule. Without naming a specific incident, date and people involved, Mr. Lythgoe is without adequate information to defend the charge, and electors signing the petitions lack the necessary facts for which Mr. Lythgoe is being recalled. The factual statement provided here is insufficient to constitute grounds for recall under§ 2-16-603(3), MCA. Without facts to support these accusations and without swearing to the truth of those facts, this petition fails to meet the statutory requirements of form set forth in the Montana Recall Act. Conclusion The Montana Supreme Court has stated, "[t]he legal sufficiency of the allegations [in a recall petition] are not left to the electorate. Therefore,a petition may never reach the electorate because it fails to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall under Section 2-16- 603(3) of the Recall Act." Foster, 207 Mont. at 150, 673 P.2d at 1246. This petition fails to be legally sufficient because (1)the truth of allegations are not properly sworn to; and (2)the allegations fail to specify acts legally sufficient to constitute grounds for recall of Mr. Lythgoe. Therefore, it is my opinion that the petition must be rejected for failure to meet form requirements under § 2-16-607, MCA. The petitioner may correct these flaws or may petition the District Court for a writ of mandamus if she believes the petition meets the statutory requirements. I-- Ktie Jerstad, D p ty County Attorney Lewis and Clarkunty 4 , RECALL PETITION FOR TOM LYTHGOE To the Honorable Bonnie Ramey, Jefferson County Election Administrator: We, the undersigned qualified electors of Jefferson County, in the State of Montana, respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether Tom Lythgoe,holding the office of Jefferson County Commissioner, should be recalled for the following reasons: Commissioner Lythgoe has repeatedly over-stepped his authority,creating rules and misquoting Montana Code to achieve his own agenda. His position is part of the Executive not Judicial branch of government, yet Tom Lythgoe has a history of acting as a judge while conducting meetings and of side stepping proper legal channels when he chooses. He has a history of political favoritism towards known felons and would be felons. His is a pattern of abuse of discretion,creating an obscene waste of taxpayer dollars and time. Mr. Lythgoes' latest abuse of power is costing the taxpayers an untold amount of money(the amounts recorded in the 14 receipt books missing from the solid waste board,which will not be covered by the County Insurance)on top of the almost $40,000 known to be embezzled. Lythgoe stated that he had the authority to make a deal for"deferred sentence"for an embezzler,when Montana Code clearly states that is only the prosecutors right. This and other offenses of his abuse of power clearly show a need for his recall. ' c.,,k,,..e.„-' 00-ler)71_,L-e--- —? .. ) : ,, ,..K\6\, fo nom, -t-kt; i-3.4,1 c_.). Sq)kAa: ,(2A., 1 6r=st9 , -13cYk\hi,L-Rs-Am 6znnnl��o,m. `r 4)1AR < NOTARY PUBLIC for the of Montana SEAL _ Ras: a:Ec,der, Mon`.astia N 9 My Corrlssion Expires 0., Cocber 30,2010 WARNING A person who knowingly signs a name other than the person's own to this petition,who signs the person's name more than once upon a petition to recall the same officer at one election,or who is not,at the time of signing this petition,a qualified elector of the state of Montana entitled to vote for the successor of the elected officer to be recalled or the successor or successors of the officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to the position held by the appointed officer to be recalled is punishable by a fine of no more than$500 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both,or a fine of$500 or imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years,or both. RECALL PETITION FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHAIR TOM LYTHGOE To the Honorable Bonnie Ramey,Jefferson County Election Administrator: We,the undersigned qualified electors of Jefferson County, in the State of Montana, respectfully petition that an election be held as provided by law on the question of whether Tom Lythgoe, holding the office of Jefferson County Commissioner, should be recalled for the following reasons: Commissioner Lythgoe has repeatedly over-stepped his authority,creating rules and misquoting Montana Code to achieve his own agenda. His position is part of the Executive not Judicial branch of government, yet Tom Lythgoe has a history of acting as a judge while conducting meetings and of side stepping proper legal channels when he chooses. He has a history of political favoritism towards known felons and would be felons. His is a pattern of abuse of discretion,creating an obscene waste of taxpayer dollars and time. Mr. Lythgoes' latest abuse of power is costing the taxpayers an untold amount of money(the amounts recorded in the 14 receipt books missing from the solid waste board,which will not be covered by the County Insurance)on top of the almost $40,000 known to be embezzled. Lythgoe stated that he had the authority to make a deal for"deferred sentence"for an embezzler, when Montana Code clearly states that is only the prosecutors' right. This and other offenses of his abuse of power clearly show a need for his recall. Each signer certifies: I have personally signed this petition;I am a qualified elector of the state of Montana and specifically,of Jefferson County;and my residence and post-office address are correctly written after my name to the best of my knowledge and belief. Signature Printed Name Residence and Post Office Address 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. This petition must contain the signatures of qualified electors equaling at least 15%of the number of persons registered to vote at the preceding county general election;and must also contain the signatures from at least 15%of the qualified electors residing in that commissioner's commission district. (+ � I , 6F c -n1 14 2 p&_,-- 1