Washington state Supreme Court greenlights recall effort against Seattle socialist councilwoman

Washington state Supreme Court greenlights recall effort against Seattle socialist councilwoman


The recall effort against socialist Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant can proceed, the Washington state Supreme Court ruled following an appeal to stop the movement.

Sawant is accused of abusing her office and betraying her role as a council member.

Sawant, an avowed socialist, has described the recall effort a right-wing attack. She did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Her campaign Twitter account shared a fundraising message Thursday accusing the recall effort of having the backing of an unnamed “right-wing” billionaire and the “corporate elite.”

“Seattle’s corporate elite are determined to recall Kshama and push city hall to the right,” the campaign claimed.

Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant listens to speakers during a rally for women’s rights on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at Westlake Park. (Genna Martin, seattlepi.com) (Photo by GENNA MARTIN/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

She allegedly led hundreds of protesters into City Hall after hours one night and is accused of joining another group of protesters at Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home – although the mayor’s address is supposed to be kept secret because she is a former federal prosecutor.

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A spokesperson for Durkan’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment. But at the time, the mayor said Sawant’s actions had put her children in danger and that protesters had vandalized her home.

Sawant also accused of misusing city resources and falling short of public disclosure requirements.

Washington law states that recall efforts can only move forward when the official has “committed some act or acts of malfeasance” or violated an oath of office, meaning that at least one of the charges needed to be upheld or the movement would fail. There were initially six, but two were stripped by a lower court.

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Her legal team had appealed the remaining four and argued that the charges were “factually and legally insufficient” to support a recall.

The state Supreme Court mostly disagreed, but it declined to uphold a charge that Sawant violated city employment rules by giving a socialist political group authority over a firing decision.

Attorneys for the man leading the recall petition, Ernest Lou, argued in court documents that voters should be given the opportunity to weigh in on Sawant’s actions in a recall vote.

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The effort still requires 10,000 signatures to be collected in Sawant’s district in the next 180 days, the Seattle Times reported.

Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.



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