Ned Piper recall, Cowlitz PUD Commission, Washington (2014)
An effort to recall Ned Piper from the Cowlitz PUD Commission in Washington, was launched in November 2013. Recall supporters argued that Piper improperly disclosed confidential utility information, intimidated employees and acted improperly with the board's authority. The petition was ultimately withdrawn, and the recall effort did not go to a vote.
The effort was led by Kelso barber Bill Ammons, former PUD meter reader and former Longview City Councilman Chuck Wallace and Doug Irvine of Kelso.
Specifically, the recall centered around the formal censure of Piper by PUD Commissioners Kurt Anagnostou and Merritt “Buz” Ketcham. The censure complaint alleged that Piper retaliated against employees who supplied documents related to former manager Brian Skeahan, acted alone in requesting information and improperly shared confidential information. Piper was at odds with commissioners over the firing of former General Manager Skeahan in early 2013. Piper voted in favor of keeping Skeahan.
The censure complaint alleged that Piper acted alone in directing employees or requesting information, retaliated against employees who supplied documents to the commission detailing Skeahan’s alleged improper behavior and improperly shared confidential PUD information. Piper’s actions made it difficult for the board to seek confidential legal advice, according to the resolution.
In response to the recall effort, Piper said, "It’s all speculation and accusations without evidence."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Washington
Recall supporters filed an "intent to recall" on November 18, 2013. Had the language been approved, supporters of the recall would have been required to collect a minimum of 8,000 signatures to trigger a recall election.
On December 20, 2013, a Cowlitz Superior Court judge determined that the recall could not move forward when he refused to allow recall supporters additional time to provide evidence of their claims. Supporters subsequently withdrew their petition.
- TDN.com, "Bid to recall PUD Commissioner Piper officially begins," November 18, 2013
- Petition to recall Cowlitz PUD commissioner withdrawn," December 20, 2013
- TDN.com, "Ruling on Cowlitz PUD recall petition expected Dec. 20," December 12, 2013
- TDN.com, "Cowlitz PUD Commissioner Ned Piper faces formal censure," October 8, 2013
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