David Lambert recall, Benson, Arizona (2012)
Reasons for recall
J.T. Moffett said the recall campaign was initiated in response to unhappiness with the way Benson–San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marc Washington Sr. was questioned by Lambert during a December 12th city council meeting. Washington was requesting that the city give $20,000 toward the Chamber's general operating expenses and to help fund an upcoming Bluegrass Festival. Washington said he felt he had been subjected to "character assassination," and he resigned from the Chamber board and filed a lawsuit against the City of Benson. Moffett said, "I'm getting a tremendous amount of support for this recall. The other city council members have Benson's best interest at heart, but David Lambert is looking out for David Lambert. The people of Benson are nothing more than stepping stones for David Lambert's political career. And who wants to be a stepping stone for David Lambert?"
The Committee to Recall David Lambert organized the recall effort. Carl Haupt served as the committee chairman and Diane Bryan was the secretary and treasurer.
Lambert said that his questioning of Washington was strictly intended to let the Chamber know that more detailed financial accountability would be required in future funding requests. City attorney Michael Massee said Lambert's behavior was in accordance with state statutes regarding the accountability of tax money. Lambert requested from Washington a detailed list of the Chamber's expenditures for the past 5 years, expense authorizations for the Chamber, receipts for Chamber expenses, and all correspondence requesting payments or reimbursements to the Chamber.
Path to the ballot
On February 6th, the Committee to Recall David Lambert filed paperwork to initiate the recall process. Recall organizers would have needed to collect signatures from 25% of registered voters who voted in the last city council election, which amounts to 159 signatures. Peter Wangsness announced she would run for Lambert's council seat in the event of a recall election.
Recall effort ends
Recall supporter J.T. Moffett decided not to turn any signatures into the city. Another recall supporter, Diane Bryan, questioned the legality of Moffett holding onto recall signatures and refusing to turn them in. Moffett said he had initiated the recall effort based on false information given to him by Chamber of Commerce executive director Marc Washington. Moffett said, “I was the one who initiated the recall campaign against David Lambert, I funded the campaign and I decided to end it."
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "Moffett says he's initiating Lambert recall," December 27, 2011
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "SP Golf course discussion draws ire," May 2, 2012
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "Councilman Lambert recall ongoing," February 8, 2012
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "Bed tax forum cut short; room double booked," January 25, 2012
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "Public forum Wed. at City Hall," February 15, 2012
- San Pedro Valley News-Sun, "Wangsness to seek seat if recall a go," March 7, 2012
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