San Juan residents attempt to recall city commissioners
Fri, 07 Jan 2011 04:55:24 GMT —
It took three months and many man hours for some San Juan residents to gather enough names to recall their city commissioners.
But during a meeting Tuesday night they were told their petition did not meet the number of signatures needed for the recall.
Over 400 of those signatures were deemed disqualified voters.
"It would be a great surprise to me if 400 or more people signed a petition and didn't know what they were signing," Attorney Greg Pruneda.
Daniel Salinas was one of those people crossed off the petition.
"It was like a slap in the face to me, said Salinas. I signed the petition, I'm a registered voter, and to hear that I was disqualified....no one notified me."
Salinas said he immediately went to the Secretary of State TMs website to see if there was a mix up with his registration.
There was nothing wrong everything was there.
"I'm ashamed to be a part of the city," said Salinas. Leo Pruneda represents those citizens pushing for the recall.
He said the city attorney and secretary did not follow the requirements set forth in the city charter.
Pruneda said city officials have taken drastic steps to have those that signed the petition say they were forced into it.
He said they did this because they don TMt want a recall on their commissioners. "The people recanted their signature, said Pruneda. They came back and filed affidavits that said they were pressured by an investigator to say they were fooled into signing the petition. Now we have to go back and have those retracted."
San Juan city officials refute those claims.
They said they stand by their decision.
They said while there could have been a computer error on a few names it is highly unlikely there was an error on over 400.
San Juan police have opened up an investigation into this matter.
They tell Action 4 News that over 20 people signed affidavits saying they signed the petition under false pretenses.
Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said if they find that this is true those who started the petition could face charges of tampering with government records and forgery.
This is the second time these citizens have tried to recall their commissioners.