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Seattle School Board Recall Hearing Scheduled For Tuesday

Phyllis Fletcher

A King County Superior Court Judge is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday about the possible recall of five members of the Seattle School Board. KUOW's Phyllis Fletcher reports.


A recent audit of the Seattle School District blamed district financial problems on the school board.

That was a first.

Two Seattle parents say it's grounds for recall. They want to unseat the five board members who were on the job during the audit period. They have to gather signatures and then win five elections — one for each board member.

But first, state law says petitioners have to prove in court that the conduct they allege broke the law was improper or interfered with official school board business. The King County Prosecutor says petitioners also have to prove the actions were intentional and intentionally illegal. Lawyers for the Seattle School District plan to argue the petitioners' charges are insufficient.

In 2004 a judge in Snohomish County approved a recall petition of two school board members in Marysville. Those board members said they acted on advice of a school district lawyer when they engaged in the conduct the recall was based on. They appealed. But the State Supreme Court said the board members knowingly and willfully engaged in improper conduct, and the court decided unanimously the recall could go forward. By then the two board members had a year left in office, they promised not to seek re–election, and the petitioners dropped their recall.

Mayors of Seattle and Spokane have been unseated by recall: Jim West of Spokane in 2005 and Hiram Gill of Seattle in 1911.

I'm Phyllis Fletcher, KUOW News.

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