Tuesday August 9th, 2022 7:40AM

Recall application against Lutz verified

By Ken Stanford Contributing Editor
GAINESVILLE - The recall application, targeting Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz, which was turned in Thursday morning, has been verified.

Interim Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said Thursday afternoon that the required 100 names on the 229-name application form had been certified.

The petitioner, Bobby Hulsey, and Lutz have been notified in accordance with state law, according to Sosebee.

Sosebee says Huley and his committee will still have to get the signatures of at least 30 percent of the registered voters in Lutz's commission district (South Hall) at the time of his election last fall in order to force the recall election.

She said there are 31,505 voters in Commission District 1. A recall petition requires 30% of those signatures, which is 9,452.

Hulsey began the recall effort after Lutz and commissioners Ashley Bell and Scott Gibbs pushed through the firings of several top county officials Jan. 6 right after Lutz and Gibbs took office.

Hulsey charges that Lutz violated the state's Open Meetings Law.

"He called a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners without regard to the legal notice requirements," Hulsey said. "It was clear that he, along with two other commissioners, had coordinated outside the public process and before the meeting the firing of the county's top officials, the hiring of new administrative officials and they actually presented contracts that were drawn up for those individuals without the knowledge of the full Board."

Hulsey said Gibbs and Bell are not named in the recall effort that his committee has launched because "(there was) not an interest in involving the other two."

Late Thursday afternoon Lutz commented on Thursday's developments, saying "The recall effort is part of our democratic process. It's good to see the people who signed the petition finally involved in the political process. I look forward to hearing their positive ideas as we work on the tough issues of the people's business."
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