Judge finds legal sufficiency not met to petition recall of Mayor Warren

ASOTIN, WA - The mayor of Clarkston fought in court Wednesday against a local voter who claimed she committed a felony.

Presiding Judge Carrie Runge made her decision after hearing both sides of the argument.

In May of 2012, Bernie McCabe was issued a noise violation citation. Despite a Clarkston Police Department Officer stating under oath he sent the citation via certified mail, McCabe said he never got it. Because of that McCabe missed a court appearance and was almost arrested for a bench warrant. McCabe is holding Mayor Kathleen Warren responsible for the incident and wants her recalled.

"The police chief, Hastings, covered that up," said McCabe. "With the Mayor's approval."

"What the Mayor had to consider is what the Chief of Police brought to her after investigation," said Clarkston City Attorney Jim Grow.

"It would have been under the jurisdiction of the Mayor who could've quite easily looked at that if she was willing to do a full investigation," said McCabe. "She was not willing to do that."

Wednesday in court both sides argued their case before Benton County Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge who appeared telephonically.

"When you allow someone to have that much power, they have that much more responsibility," said McCabe.

While Judge Runge found McCabe had enough evidence to support the claims...she didn't feel the argument was worth recalling the Mayor.

"I find that you do not meet legal sufficiency and I do not find it appropriate to have the recall move forward to the voters," said Judge Runge.

If the judge had found the mayor was at fault, the petition would've gone to a vote before the local voters.