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Seattle mayor asks judge to reconsider recall decision

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a news conference Monday, June 22, 2020, in Seattle. Faced with growing pressure to crack down on an 'Auoccupied'Au protest zone following two weekend shootings, Durkan said Monday that officials will move to wind down the blocks-long span of city streets taken over two weeks ago that President Donald Trump asserted is run by 'Auanarchists." (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times via AP) (ted s.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan speaks during a news conference Monday, June 22, 2020, in Seattle. Faced with growing pressure to crack down on an 'Auoccupied'Au protest zone following two weekend shootings, Durkan said Monday that officials will move to wind down the blocks-long span of city streets taken over two weeks ago that President Donald Trump asserted is run by 'Auanarchists." (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times via AP) (ted s. warren/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has asked a King County judge to reconsider her ruling to allow a recall petition to proceed against the mayor.

Durkan argues the use of tear gas to disperse protesters was a decision made by police Chief Carmen Best, not her, and that it was reasonable, The Seattle Times reported.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary E. Roberts last week dismissed six claims against Durkan as insufficient for a recall, but allowed a seventh. That claim alleged Durkan failed to implement new policing policies after tear gas and other chemical agents were used on protesters.

The ruling was an initial victory for Durkan’s opponents in what would be a long process to recall the mayor. Roberts’ role is to assume the charges, as filed against Durkan, are true, and to determine whether they’re both specific and serious enough to allow the petition to proceed. Opponents would have to collect more than 50,000 signatures from Seattle voters — one-quarter of the votes filed in the last mayoral election — to allow a special recall election.

A recall election would be a simple up or down vote on Durkan. If the recall succeeded, the city council president, currently M. Lorena Gonzalez, would become mayor.

In a motion filed this week, Durkan said it’s not her duty to dictate Seattle police policies and, even if it was, changing police policies without court approval would violate the city’s consent decree.

“The Mayor believes the remaining claim will be dismissed,” Stephanie Formas, Durkan’s chief of staff, said. She said Durkan would pursue “appropriate next steps.”

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