Steve Tucker recall, Spokane County, Washington (2011)

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An effort to recall Steve Tucker from his position as Spokane County, Washington prosecutor was launched in late 2011 by county resident Shannon Sullivan.[1] The recall effort was blocked by a judge in January 2012.[2] In 2005, Sullivan led the successful recall drive against former Spokane mayor Jim West. Tucker has served in his role for 13 years.

Reasons for recall

Tucker was accused of committing acts of malfeasance, misfeasance and violations of his oath of office. He was also accused of failing to investigate and prosecute a number of crimes committed in his jurisdiction as prosecutor. Sullivan said that Tucker refused to prosecute police officers or other public employees.

In 2006, Tucker declined to press charges against Daniel Ross, a former Spokane fire fighter who admitted meeting a 16-year-old girl online and later having sex with her and taking explicit pictures of her.

Tucker also declined to press charges against officers in the death of Otto Zehm, who was killed by members of the Spokane Police Department. Earlier this year, the US Attorney's Office charged Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson with using excessive force and violating the civil rights of Zehm. Thompson was convicted on both counts.[1]

Tucker's response

Tucker said, "We've prosecuted at least a half dozen police officers for various crimes. We prosecuted Jay Olsen, we prosecuted Jay Mehring. It's just wrong to say I don't prosecute police officers."[3]

Path to the ballot

The recall effort failed to meet the grounds test necessary for recall campaigns in the state of Washington. Superior court judge Craig Matheson ruled that four of the recall charges were insufficient and that one of the charges lacked a basis of knowledge.[2]

If the grounds for recall had been validated, Sullivan would have had 180 days to gather more than 42,000 signatures.[1]

See also