Residents of Pacific, Washington recall Mayor Sun

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June 30, 2013


OLYMPIA, Washington: Citizens of Pacific, Washington voted in a special election on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 to recall Mayor Cy Sun. In 2011, Sun, an 83-year old Korean War veteran who campaigned on a platform vehemently against corruption, was elected mayor of Pacific, Washington with 471 votes as a write-in candidate. Just 18 months later, he is being ousted from office through a community's local recall efforts. As of Tuesday night, two-thirds of the votes were counted; however, King County will not update the vote count until July 3.[1][2] Brian M. Rosenthal of The Seattle Times noted, “While the 1,242 counted ballots represented just 42 percent of registered Pacific voters, it was more than the number of votes cast in the 2011 mayoral election, which first gave Sun an unlikely victory."[3] Cy Sun will be officially recalled on July 9 when the special election results are certified, and the City Council will appoint a mayor to serve finish out Sun's term through December 2015.[4][5] The Seattle Times is reporting that two people are already vying for the position: Pacific City Council President Leanne Guier and Pacific City Councilman John Jones, who lost to Sun in the 2011 mayoral election.

While the recall against Mayor Sun was officially filed in August 2012, the ballot specifically asked voters to consider whether Sun committed malfeasance, misfeasance, and violated his oath of office by:

  • "Directing Pacific police department officers to operate as his personal police force in conducting a criminal investigation into the identity of those responsible for distributing negative information and allegations about him concerning his Echo, Oregon property, which is outside of their jurisdiction;
  • Jeopardizing the City’s liability insurance coverage by not filling vacant department heads."[6][7]

During his 18 months in office, Mayor Sun:

  • ousted three police chiefs and several other department heads.[8]
  • was arrested trying to gain access to a locked City Clerk’s Office.[9][10]
  • has caused roughly $11 million in lawsuits against the town of Pacific, which has a budget of $15 million.[11]

The Committee to Recall Cy Sun was instrumental in the recall efforts against Mayor Sun. It is reported that the Committee raised and spent roughly $37,000 in their recall effort against Mayor Sun.[12] In April, the Committee to Recall Cy Sun gathered the required 415 signatures within only three days.[13] In addition, on August 23, 2012, the Committee to Recall Cy Sun turned in a 200-page account of Sun’s alleged misdeeds to the King County Prosecutor’s office. It is important to note that in order to conduct a recall in Washington, a judge must rule that sufficient cause for recall exists in accordance with the laws governing recall in Washington. Because a judge’s ruling is needed, recall in the state of Washington is rare with the last recall occurring in 2004.[14]

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