Recall election would be held near end of June
Voters in Harney County may soon be casting their ballots on whether or not to recall Harney County Judge Steve Grasty, after more than 550 signatures supporting the recall petition were turned in to the secretary of state’s office on May 11.
The recall petition, filed on Feb. 11, charges, “Judge Grasty and other county officials have prevented and/or hindered US Citizens the same privileges and rights that he and other officials use and exercise themselves. These privileges and rights include: The privilege of citizens use of public buildings for peaceful assembly, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, & the unabridged right of freedom of speech.
“The exercising of ones right of freedom of speech or for people to exercise their right to peaceably assemble is not in violation of the law. Those rights are protected under the US Constitution Amendment I which reads — ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’ ”
Kim W. Rollins of Burns is the chief petitioner for the recall election.
The State Elections Division has 10 days to verify the signatures after they are received, and once 444 of the signatures are certified, Grasty has five days to submit a justification in office statement or resign from his position. If he files a justification in office statement with the secretary of state, the recall election would then be held within 30 days, placing it near the end of June.
Grasty said, “I will not be resigning. That is not an option. I look forward to continuing to work as the Harney County judge as we address the many challenges and opportunities facing our community.”
Harney County Clerk Dag Robinson stated the recall election would cost the county between $7,000 and $10,000.