Jesse James White recall, Riverbank, California (2011)
The Riverbank City Council voted 3-1 at a city council meeting in April 2011 to pursue a lawsuit to remove White from the city council on the basis that he was not registered as a voter at the time he filed as a candidate for the 2008 council election and therefore his election to office is invalid.
The 2011 effort came after two previous attempts to recall White from office came up short of turning in the necessary number of signatures to force a recall election. The second effort failed on September 28, 2010, the signature collection deadline, when recall organizers turned in slightly fewer signatures than were required to trigger a recall election. A 2009 recall effort targeting Jesse James White also sputtered to a halt before collecting sufficient signatures for a recall election.
White, then aged 21, was arrested on drug charges on May 14, 2010. Authorities conducted a probation search of his residence and found small quantities of cocaine and marijuana. White was on probation after entering a "no contest" plea in 2007 to misdemeanor charges that he had driven while under the influence of alcohol, possessed less than an ounce of marijuana and drove with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 while under the age of 21.
At a press conference he called on May 19, White said he would not be resigning and, "I believe I'm entitled to my due process rights."
Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueño pushed for an official censure of White.
White missed three city council meetings in August 2010. During August, the city council hoped to fill, by appointment, a seat left vacant by the July 29 resignation of Danny Fielder. This meant there weren't enough city council members at the meetings to fill the vacant seat. As a result, a special election to fill the seat must be held. Administering that election will cost the city about $35,000.
The recall effort was led by a group called "Citizens For Fair Change."Dottie Nygard, who is involved with the group, said in June that the group had begun the process of collecting signatures on petitions to force a recall election. Approximately 2,500 signatures are required to force a recall vote.
Leaders of the group that recalled Crowder, Humphreys and Manley in Hughson, California visited with the group that is targeting White to give them some pointers.
Path to the ballot
Recall organizers submitted 2,156 signatures to force a recall vote to Riverbank's city clerk in late September. To trigger a recall, the petitions would have had to include at least 2,185 signatures, or 25% of the city's registered voters.
The clerk-recorder's office of Stanislaus County scrutinized the signatures for validity and ultimately disqualified 73 of them. If the clerk's office had determined that there were at least 2,185 valid signatures, which was numerically impossible given that only 2,156 signatures were submitted, the Riverbank City Council would then have had 14 days to determine the date of a recall election. That election would have to have been scheduled no sooner than 88 days, and no later than 125 days, after the city council authorized it.
- Riverbank News, "Council Seeks To Oust White," May 4, 2011
- Los Angeles Times, "Councilman, 23, is arrested, accused of DUI, child endangerment," February 20, 2012
- Modesto Bee, "Amid Riverbank recall clamor, White a no-show," May 25, 2010
- The Riverbank News, "Second Recall Effort Fails," October 6, 2010
- The Riverbank News, "White Vows to Keep Seat," May 28, 2010
- Modesto Bee, "Riverbank mayor to seek White's censure," June 14, 2010
- Modesto Bee, "Missed meetings costly for Riverbank," August 27, 2010
- Riverbank News, "White Out? Critics Launch Recall Movement," June 6, 2010
- Modesto Bee, "Drive to recall Riverbank Councilman White starting," June 30, 2010
- Sacramento Bee, "White recall effort boosted," September 2, 2010
- Modesto Bee, "Petitions filed to recall Riverbank councilman," September 29, 2010