Joe Laurance recall, Douglas County, Oregon (2012)
An effort to recall Joe Laurance from his position as a Douglas County commissioner was launched in February 2012. The recall effort was abandoned on April 30th, 2012, after failing to meet the signature submission deadline.
Reasons for recall
Terry McVay served as chief petitioner in the recall effort. A December 19th traffic incident between Laurance and former county employee Gene Hall was the impetus for recall. Hall claims that Laurance intimidated him physically and impersonated a sheriff's deputy by showing a special badge issued by the sheriff's office to authorize him to get around roadblocks in an emergency. The Jackson County District Attorney's office investigated the matter but found that there was insufficient evidence to file charges. McVay said Laurance was a “bully" who “repeatedly and wantonly used profanity” in speaking with county employees and the public. Hall, who says he was physically abused and subjected to a hostile work environment while working for the county, is currently suing the county over his termination in 2003.
Laurance said, "I think that when the decision from the district attorney from Jackson County is made, this will become a non-issue."
Path to the ballot
Recall organizers would have needed to collect 6,500 signatures by April 30th, 2012 in order to force a recall election.
Recall committee treasurer Herman Oberholzer said unfavorable press, bad weather, a lack of volunteers and concerns about the cost of a recall election were obstacles to signature collection.
- The News-Review, "Recall effort targets County Commissisoner Joe Laurance," February 2, 2012 (dead link)
- The News-Review, "Laurance survives recall as signature deadline passes," May 2, 2012
- Umpqua Post, "Special election could determine Laurance's fate," February 15, 2012
- The World, "Jackson County DA won't file charges against official," February 20, 2012
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