John Lampros and Mike Lemich recall, White Pines County, Nevada (2013)

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An effort to recall John Lampros and Mike Lemich from their position on the Board of Commissioners in White Pines County, Nevada was launched in July 2013. Supporters of the recall circulated petitions in order to qualify the recall question for the ballot. However, they were unable to gather enough signatures, so the recall did not go to a vote.[1]

Background

In July 2013, James Adams, Timothy McGowan and Cheryl Ann Noriega filed notices of intention to circulate recall petitions. The group began officially circulating their petitions shortly thereafter. The effort largely circulated around disagreements over county spending. John Lampros told reporters, "I find it very sad after 40 years of service. I find it very disconcerting but they have to do what they have to do....It's sad that the County is in this kind of a state with new outsiders coming in here and thinking they can take over and do whatever they want."[2]

Reasons for recall

The petition that recall supporters circulated against Lampros stated:[2]

Under John Lampros’ leadership, spending within White Pine County has exploded. With the recent commitment to a swimming pool that is far beyond our needs and completely over the top with costs of construction and known operating expenses, plus the reckless and completely unplanned attempt at replacing the County annex building, resulting in money being paid out for nothing. Purchasing the Ely Times building, with known problems, possibly with as much age and probably with as many problems as the current structure, and again unknown cost to make this building usable, coupled with other unbudgeted, unplanned expenditures, has seriously reduced fund balances leaving the County saddled with future debt loads beyond our means.

The current budget has a $1.4+ million shortfall not including these building commitments.
On numerous occasions, Lampros has exhibited very unprofessional behavior, use of vulgar language, berating individuals (including fellow commissioners), who dare to take issue with his pet projects, leadership style, or vote against his desires. Intimidation and physical pressure has even resulted in Sheriff investigations for assault. We are asking the people to take this necessary action by removing John Lampros before this County is forced back into insolvency through continued mismanagement.[3]

The petition that recall supporters circulated against Lemich stated:[2]

Mike Lemich, along with the Chairman has spearheaded the economic disaster that this county now finds itself in. In addition to poor fiscal management, Lemich has taken very combative and pushed personal vendettas against the private operator at the Airport and members of the Airport Board. Accusations, intimidations, lies and outright threats against both the operator and their customers have far crossed the line of ethics. He has continued to press these issues, even though both county and private attorneys have stated that no legalities are at issue.

He has taken upon himself to dismantle the County Fire and EMS services, violating and/or subjecting the County to NRS violations and placing outlying communities in grave risks due to lack of timely services, while simultaneously negotiating land exchanges for the county.
He’s been the subject of several state and local investigations, including pending assault of a local citizen. White Pine deserves better.[3]

Legal issues

While Lemich initially expressed a lack of concern over the effort, on July 25 he filed a defamation lawsuit against Adams, McGowan and Noriega, stating that recall effort was spreading unfounded information that was hurting his reputation and causing him emotional harm. On August 2, Lampros filed a similar lawsuit.[4][5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Nevada

Recall supporters were required to collect 821 signatures (25 percent of the number of voters in the last county commissioners election) by October 8, 2013 (90 days after first circulating the petition). They failed to do so.[5][2][1]

See also

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