JUDGES ORDER DOC091715-09172015142844
A Lawrence Superior Court Judge has put a halt to the recall petition against Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera Tuesday, issuing a temporary restraining order on the collection of signatures against the mayor until his challenge to the initial 100 signatures can be heard by the Lawrence Board of Registrars.
A recall affidavit was submitted by Funeral Home Director and Atty. Louis Farrah on behalf of a group calling themselves The Foundation for Transparency in Government. The group is made up of mostly supporters of former Lawrence Mayor Willie Lantigua. Lantigua was unseated in 2013 by Dan Rivera who won by only 84 votes.
According to the Lawrence City Charter, Farrah needed to submit an affidavit for a recall election to remove Mayor Rivera from office containing at least 100 signatures from Lawrence voters. After Farrah submitted more than 180 names, the Mayor challenged the validity of the signatures which would have required a hearing by the BOR but Lawrence City Council President Modesto Maldonado ordered City Clerk Bill Maloney to illegally release the recall petitions anyway.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera appeared in Lawrence Superior Court on Tuesday asking a judge to put a halt to the recall petition against him arguing that he believes many of the signatures were fraudulently obtained.
“We know that people have come forward saying they signed the recall affidavit under false pretenses and want their names removed,” Rivera told the Valley Patriot. “The process is that the Board of Registrars must hold a hearing to consider my objections and rule on the validity of the signatures before the recall petitions can be issued. They didn’t do that and the judge ruled that the Board of Registrars must hold that hearing before this process moves forward.
The Board of Registrars is scheduled to meet later this week to take up Rivera’s claim of fraud on the recall affidavit.