D.O.J. Reviewing DeLeon Recall Petition - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/28/07

D.O.J. Reviewing DeLeon Recall Petition

After debate about which signatures are valid, NewsChannel 11 learns the Department of Justice is now reviewing the recall petition for Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon.

"There's no good reason that they were eliminated," petition co-organizer Armando Gonzales said. 

"We're just confident that we've done it correctly," Lubbock City Attorney Anita Burgess said. 

The Department of Justice inquiry comes nearly a month after the petition to oust DeLeon from office failed.  Petition organizers contacted the D.O.J., and Thursday city leaders held a teleconference with one of the department's representatives.

Burgess describes that meeting as a good, cordial meeting.  She tells us that D.O.J. inquiries are not uncommon in election issues, and that the city will provide all information requested.

Gonzales says he contacted the Department of Justice after he says the Lubbock County Commissioners and the Secretary of State's Office told him they could not intervene. 

Gonzales says some of the signatures on the recall petition are valid and were discounted by the city secretary's office incorrectly.

City leaders say they did everything by the book.

"It's all at the discretion of the city secretary. There's no government process other than her stamping it unapproved, so that's why we contacted the D.O.J.," Gonzales said. 

"We're delighted to respond to any inquiry. What we have done is taken the city charter provisions and we've taken the state law provisions and we have applied that criteria to each of the signatures," Burgess said. 

Burgess tells NewsChannel 11  that these inquiries can take some time.

Gonzales says the D.O.J.'s office told him they do not report any progress until a final report is ready.

NewsChannel 11 tried to contact the Department of Justice, but they have not yet gotten back with us.

On NewsChannel 11 at 10, we'll have more from petition organizers about why they feel some of the signatures are valid, and more about Thursday's meeting between the D.O.J. and city leaders.

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