Recall Effort to Oust Armenta Derailed
May 12, 2011
Community members pushing for a recall of County Supervisor Fernando Armenta failed to submit a draft petition to the Elections Department by their deadline today, two weeks after they filed their notice of intent to circulate a recall petition.
"I have been intimidated in regard to my rights," Jose Castañeda, the first signatory to the notice of intent. Castañeda, the president of the beleaguered Alisal Union School Board, says strangers have been knocking on doors of District 1 residents who signed the petition, intimidating them and dissuading them from supporting the recall effort. "Our voter rights are being really tampered with,"Castañeda says.
He also points to the District Attorney's ongoing investigation into whether the notice of intent was properly served to Armenta. Castañeda showed a proof of service for hand delivery to Armenta's Salinas residence, but Armenta was later shown to be in attendance at a Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority meeting in Gonzalez at the time. Castañeda later filed a revised proof of service, which Elections Program Manager Susan Orman says is"quite unusual."
Armenta says that had the DA's investigation exposed a falsified proof of service, he would've sued, seeking an injunction against the recall petition proceedings had he been able to secure an attorney's service pro bono.