Ruling States Recall Petition-Election Can Proceed

Hearing Officer Mark MacDonnell ruled this past Friday, November 25,  “that the Petition to Recall Marjorie Campbell from the Office of Prowers County Hospital District Board should be and is hereby determined to be sufficient as a matter of law.”  The identical ruling was held for PMC board member, Candy Ruedeman.  Both women, facing a recall petition for their Prowers Medical Center Board of Director seats,  went before MacDonnell on Monday, November 21, claiming three areas of the signature gathering process had been invalid, and that as such, the determination to move forward for the recall election by the Designated Election Official from Prowers Medical Center was not sufficient. 

In his findings, MacDonnell stated that Ruedeman and Campbell claimed last week before the Hearing Officer, “that the petition claimed a false statement, namely that one of the petition circulators represented herself as an eligible elector of Prowers County Hospital District, when in fact she was not; that the Petition was not circulated in accordance with law’ and that Petition circulators made false statements to induce electors to sign the petition.” 

The finding issued last Friday by MacDonnell stated that while the party filing the protest bears the burden of proof to sustain the protest by preponderance of the evidence, neither Campbell nor Ruedeman has met that burden in the matter.  As such, MacDonnell upheld the sufficiency of the signatures as determined and presented by Audrey Kane, Prowers County Hospital District, Designated Election Official, and should not be overturned. 

If Ruedeman or Campbell decides to appeal, one will be made before the Prowers County District Court.  Each board member was facing a separate recall action, and the petition process required that a minimum of 300 valid signatures for each of them be certified.  That minimum had been met according to the Designated Election Official.

By Russ Baldwin


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