Judge rules recall of Seattle Socialist Councilwoman can move forward


A recall effort against Socialist Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant may move forward, according to a King County Superior Court judge’s ruling. (Screen capture, YouTube, KCPQ)

A King County, Washington Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that a recall effort against firebrand Socialist Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can move forward, according to the Seattle P-I.com.

In his 16-page ruling, Judge Jim Rogers reportedly found four of the original six complaints against Sawant “did rise to the level of malfeasance,” according to KOMO News, the local ABC affiliate.

Sawant will appeal.

The four complaints allowed by Judge Rogers were:

  • Sawant delegated hiring and firing decisions of her office staff to her outside political groups identified as the National Executive Committee and Seattle Executive Committee of the Socialist Alternative.
  • Sawant violated city and state laws by misusing city resources and her official authority when she opened Seattle City Hall in June to protesters who staged a late-night demonstration inside the building.
  • Sawant participated in a march to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house last month, causing a breach that could have compromised the mayor’s personal safety. Because of Durkan’s previous work as a federal attorney, her home address is not widely known for security concerns.
  • Sawant misused city resources in promoting a ballot initiative earlier this year regarding passage of a new tax on some of the city’s largest employers.

Sawant was re-elected last year, which critics said legitimized her far left political bent. During ongoing protests over the summer, she intimated a leadership role by repeatedly talking about “our movement” in statements appearing on social media.

There is no small irony in the fact that the recall effort against Mayor Jenny Durkan, which Sawant supports, is also moving forward.

Earlier this week, the Seattle City Council approved a measure to provide funding for Sawant’s legal defense against the recall charge, the Seattle P-I.com noted.

In his ruling, the judge said the petitioner, Capitol Hill resident Ernie Lou, “had shown that actual knowledge of facts indicating that the Councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act.”

The full ruling may be read here.

Lou, a self-described liberal, told KOMO about the current city council, “They were elected and voted in, but I really feel like the current makeup of the City Council does not represent the true values of the city of Seattle.”

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