Scott Myers

Grant County Judge Scott Myers during a June 9 session of Grant County Court.

Grant County Judge Scott Myers faces a potential recall effort.

Chief petitioner Joshua Walker of Seneca filed a prospective recall petition with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office June 10.

Walker wrote in his justification that Myers has shown a “lack of administrative oversight,” a “refusal to collaborate,” “financial mismanagement” and a “lack of transparency.” In addition, Walker wrote that Myers has lacked oversight over departments and county personnel, which has led to a lack of confidence in his leadership and overall dysfunction.

Walker wrote that “critical public funds” were unaccounted for and misspent, which prolonged economic recovery in the county. He said Myers is unwilling to invest in economic development in the county, leading to “continual population decline, decreased revenue, and the loss of basic services and amenities.”

He claims Myers is violating his oath of office by refusing to meet with other elected officials.

Myers told the Eagle Monday, “The record will show my position on the potential of wasting money when COVID-19 started, and it is evident that I wouldn’t spend road fund dollars on development on private property.”

Walker declined to comment Sunday and said he wanted to wait until petitions begin to circulate before speaking publicly about it.

Lydia Plukchi, a compliance specialist with the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, said their office notified Myers that a recall had been filed against him.

Plukchi said templates were issued to Walker and that both a cover and signature sheet for a prospective recall petition must be approved in writing by the elections official before the chief petitioner may begin circulating the petition.

A June 11 letter emailed to Myers from Deborah Scroggin, the state’s director of elections, wrote that the chief petitioner must collect and submit at least 578 valid signatures from registered voters no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 8.

According to Scroggin’s email, if enough signatures are not gathered, then the recall petition becomes void.

If the recall petition contains the required number of valid signatures, Myers would have five days to decide whether to resign from office, or file a Statement of Justification that would be included on the ballot in the special recall election. The county must hold a special county-wide election for the recall within 35 days.

If the majority votes to recall Myers, the governor would appoint a replacement until the next pertinent election.

The last recall for a county judge was for Mark Webb in 2009, and it failed. A coalition of citizens failed to recall former County Commissioner Boyd Britton in 2016.

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Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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