Lubbock DA Issues Statement Regarding Municipal Recall Petition - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/15/07

Lubbock DA Issues Statement Regarding Municipal Recall Petition

After reviewing the materials presented and the applicable case law, the D.A's office will not pursue charges against anyone regarding the municipal recall petition.

This decision is based in part on the following:

There is no applicable criminal statute under which to prosecute.

Section 273.001 of the Election Code applie to "conduct in connection with" an election. A recall petition is a collateral attack on a completed election. Signatures on the recall petitions are not "votes" and the recall petitions are not included in the definitions of a "ballot." Therefore, there is no clear unambiguous criminal offense. The law does not allow for prosecution by analogy.

Futhermore, even if there were some arguments to be made that the statute does apply, the affidavits are insufficient to require further investigation. First, the affidavits are not based on personal knowledge of an alleged crime. Second, they do not state any allegation of criminal conduct.

For the above stated reasons, the Criminal District Attorney's office is not authorized or required to take any further action on this matter.

Matthew D. Powell
Criminal District Attorney
Lubbock County, Texas

Lubbock Mayor, David A. Miller, has since issued the following response to Powell's decision.

"I appreciate District Attorney Matt Powell for taking the time and care necessary to review this issue. Today's announcement re-confirms my confidence in the integrity, not only in the system itself, but most importantly in City Secretary Becky Garza and her staff. Ms. Garza conducts business in a highly professional and ethical manner."

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