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Joe Ayala and Joseph Martinez recall, Rialto Unified School District, California (2014)

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An effort to recall Joe Ayala and Joseph Martinez from their positions on the Rialto Unified School Board in California was launched in March 2014. The recall effort did not go to a vote as organizers failed to gather enough petitions to force an election by September 16, 2014. Recall organizers served Ayala and Martinez with recall papers during a March 26, 2014, meeting.[1][2] However, they fell short of the necessary 9,450 signatures to hold the recall election.[3]

Recall supporter arguments

Chris Meza initiated the recall drive against Ayala and Martinez due to the board's handling of district finances. The recall papers served to Ayala and Martinez on March 26, 2014, cited wasteful contracts with service providers totaling $3.1 million. Meza also cited lagging academic performance for the recall effort. Recall supporters also opposed the board's actions during a police investigation of former district accountant Judith Oakes. Oakes was accused of stealing $1.8 million in funds from the district's Nutrition Services fund over eight years. Former superintendent Harold Cebrun was believed to have had a personal relationship with Oakes through he was not investigated as part of the embezzlement case. Ayala was the only board member to vote against placing Cebrun on administrative leave in October.[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in California

Ayala and Martinez had seven days from the delivery of recall papers to provide responses that would be published by the San Bernardino County Elections Office. County elections officials reviewed petition language and approved the collection of signatures on May 19, 2014. Meza and fellow supporters had until September 16, 2014, to gather at least 9,450 valid signatures, which equals at least 20 percent of registered voters in the district. The submission date was determined by calculating 120 days from the approval of the initial recall language. However, supporters failed to gather sufficient signatures.[3] If these requirements had been met, the County Elections Office would have scheduled an election no less than 88 days but no more than 125 days after the signatures' approval.[4]

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