Donald Banning recall, Troy, Montana (2012)

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A vote about whether to recall Don Banning from his position as mayor of Troy, Montana took place on May 24th, 2012.[1] Banning was recalled from office.[2] Banning was elected in 2010. The recall effort was launched in February 2012.[3]


City council member Fran McCully initiated the recall. McCully accused Banning of abusing his power, saying, “he has refused to work with people and does it his own way, even if it’s against the law."[4] The recall petition accused Banning of trying to fire City Attorney Charles Evans without the prior consent of the city council or legitimate reason, cashing a check for $331.80 to cover travel expenses not approved by the council, approving the construction of a picnic area and pavilion without ever consulting the council, and codifying city ordinances without notifying anyone.[4]

In response to the recall effort against him, Banning said, "I’d like to be able to do my job and not have to answer to those people. They have to answer to me.”[4] Troy's chief of police, Bob McLeod, opposed the recall: "They want to remove the Mayor and get rid of the police department–they want Troy to be just a water district."[3]

Legal action

After the recall petition was filed, Banning responded by filing a restraining order.[4]

Judge James Wheelis of Lincoln County granted a temporary restraining order again Lincoln County Clerk and Recorder Tammy Lauer on February 14th. The order temporarily prevented the recall election from moving forward. Banning argued that the matters stated in the affidavit filed by McCully were factually deficient, specific instances of misconduct were untrue, and that allegations against Banning did not fit the single ground of a violation of oath of office.[5]

On March 20th, Judge Wheelis rejected Banning's request to grant a permanent injunction that would have stopped a recall election from taking place. Wheeling wrote that, "the court concludes that Mayor Banning's acts were not simple mistakes, but a concerted intent to ignore the council, the state statutes and the (City of Troy's) Charter."[6]

On April 16th, Banning filed a motion for a stay of judgment in the case until his case could be heard by the Montana Supreme Court.[1] The motion was denied, and the recall election moved forward.

Path to the ballot

Recall organizers needed to collect 125 signatures in order to force a recall election.[3] A recall election took place on May 24th.[1] Banning was recalled from office.[2]

Election results

  • Votes to recall Donald Banning: 190 Approveda
  • Votes to retain Donald Banning: 123

See also