Organizers of the petition to recall Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon plan to protest Wednesday's decision by City Secretary Becky Garza. Garza announced a third party observer will not be allowed to watch city staff verify the recall petition.
Co-organizer Armando Gonzales says they plan to be at City Hall around 1:00 p.m. Thursday. He feels denying their request shows ill will from the city and says this petition needs to be under the scrutiny of people and the media.
Garza says it's her office's duty to check the validity of the petition, and they will do it fairly.
"After consulting with the Secretary of State's Office, I have made the decision not to allow third party observers in the area of the verification process," Garza said.
According to the Secretary of State, the decision is Garza's to make.
"My decision was not made lightly. It was derived after thoughtful and careful consideration. My obligation is to ensure the sanctity of the election process for the citizens of Lubbock, and I believe my decision serves the best interest of the citizens," Garza said.
"I won't allow this process to become an acrimonious forum for competing interests. This must be and will be a neutral process," Garza continued.
In her second briefing since petition organizers turned in their second batch of signatures, Garza promised that the verification will be fair.
"Secondly, this review must be done timely and promptly by individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform these duties," Garza said.
"Upon completion of the verification process, we will share our findings and answer your questions," Garza added.
Secretary Garza did not take any questions at Tuesday's or Wednesday's briefing, but she directed us to city staff members.
We asked them why Garza did not take questions, and they tell us the briefings are more a courtesy for media, instead of just forwarding a paper release.
We should know the results of this recall petition by next Wednesday. NewsChannel 11 will bring you those results as soon as they are released.
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