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Judge denies Shasta County recall signature extension

Shasta County Supervisors Chimenti, Moty and Rickert are being challenged with local recall efforts.
Shasta County
Shasta County Supervisors Joe Chimenti, Leonard Moty and Mary Rickert are the subject of a local recall effort.

A judge in Shasta County on Tuesday ruled against a group that’s trying to recall three county supervisors. Their lawsuit was an attempt to get an extension to collect enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Tuesday’s ruling puts the recall in a precarious place.

Judge Tamara Wood in Shasta County Superior Court denied the request by Recall Shasta and several local residents to get a 32-day extension to collect additional signatures. The deadline to turn in signatures is Wednesday, Sept. 29th.

Recall Shasta is trying to remove three of the county’s five supervisors — Leonard Moty, Mary Rickert and Joe Chimenti.

Shasta Forward, a group formed to support the supervisors under threat of recall, said justice had been served by the judge's decision.

"People don’t want a costly $640,000 recall against three conservative supervisors, two of which were just elected and one that is already up for re-election in less than a year. Now it’s time to put this recall circus behind us and come together to focus on issues that matter to Shasta County,” wrote Shasta Forward spokesman Eric Eisenhammer on Tuesday afternoon.

Representatives from Recall Shasta and their attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Shasta County board of supervisors meetings have been the scene of protests and harsh criticism over the past year as recall supporters voiced their frustration that local elected officials were not resisting mandates and pandemic restrictions from Gov. Newsom and the state of California.

On Tuesday, Recall Shasta argued that wildfire smoke this summer prevented them from being able to collect the signatures they need.

Organizers have 120-days to collect signatures after submitting their notice of holding a recall, a requirement set by the state legislature.

To get a recall on the ballot, the group will need valid signatures from 20% of the electors in each district where they’re trying to hold a recall. In Shasta County that ranges from 4,308 signatures for District 2 to 4,432 in District 3.

The Shasta County elections office now has 30 business days to count and verify the signatures that are turned in.

Erik Neumann is JPR's news director. He earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and joined JPR as a reporter in 2019 after working at NPR member station KUER in Salt Lake City.