Grasty Recall is Validated
Harney County, Oregon petitioners have validated their recall petition against Judge Steve Grasty.
Grasty has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to resign or submit a “statement of justification” that would be printed on the recall election ballot, according to a letter notifying him of the petition’s result. But Grasty said Thursday he is not resigning.
A recall election would be held no later than June 28, according to the letter. The effort to oust Grasty comes in the aftermath of the 41-day takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by armed militants earlier this year.
The recall petition, filed on Feb. 11, charges, “Judge Grasty and other county officials have prevented and/or hindered US Citizens the same privileges and rights that he and other officials use and exercise themselves. These privileges and rights include: The privilege of citizens use of public buildings for peaceful assembly, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, & the unabridged right of freedom of speech.
“The exercising of ones right of freedom of speech or for people to exercise their right to peaceably assemble is not in violation of the law. Those rights are protected under the US Constitution Amendment I which reads — ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’ ”
It is clear that the justification for the recall was not directly about the Malheur Protest, but rather, the incidents in which Grasty refused citizens the right to discuss these, and other, issues.
The citizens were told they were not to be allowed access to public buildings if Grasty didn’t approve of the topic of their meeting. Many citizens were disgusted when public meetings were held and controlled by Judge Grasty, in which citizens were removed if they said the wrong thing, such as a citizen being manhandled out of the building when he used the word ‘Constitution.’
“I will not be resigning. That is not an option. I look forward to continuing to work as the Harney County judge as we address the many challenges and opportunities facing our community,” Grasty said.
The recall election would be held no later than June 28th.
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