Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Riverdale City Disqualifies 2013 Municipal Election Council Race Winner - Updated

Next stop... Ogden's 2d District Court?

Riverdale City Arithmetic
No sooner do we close the books on the 2013 Utah Municipal Elections, than we receive some red meat information from one of our sharp-eyed WCF readers, highlighting a still-lingering problem in one neighboring Weber County Municipality, where Riverdale City officials have set the stage to disqualify one city council candidate from the November 5 race which he actually won, by a narrow 18-vote margin, over the next runner-up. Here's the set-up, via the text of an email we received last night from Gentle Reader Actuary321:
This is going to be breaking in the news tomorrow (hopefully) but Riverdale's City Recorder has decided that having received numerous complaints including 3 formal complaint from Riverdale Municipal Candidates, she has decided that she is no longer comfortable with her decision to allow Gary Griffiths to stay on the ballot even though he missed her deadline of the 28th of October (as opposed to every other city and the states deadline of the 29th) for filing of the Financial Disclosure documents.
You can find the election canvas information including her letter to Mr. Griffiths at the following link:
Riverdale November 19, 2013 City Council Agenda/Packet
From the above-cited council packet, we've extracted this letter, by which City Recorder Herrick delivers the bad news to Mr. Griffiths.

The fundamental problem here? The Riverdale City Recorder's and Attorney's offices staff apparently lack the technical expertise to perform a simple, automated days-between-dates filing deadline count. That's how we see it, at least. Whereas the applicable Utah code section (Utah Code 10-3-208) provides that "(ii) Each candidate for municipal office who is not eliminated at a municipal primary election shall file with the municipal clerk or recorder a campaign finance statement: (A) no later than seven days before the date of the municipal general election," Riverdale City Recorder miscalculated Mr. Griffith's drop-dead filing date,  incorrectly calculating October 28 (one day too early) as Mr. Griffith's last day for his finance disclosure filing, rather than October 29, which would have been correct last date.

This election glitch was earlier highlighted in this November 8, Standard-Examiner story, of course, wherein intrepid S-E reporter Mark Saal reported that both Utah Lieutenant Governors office officials and "Jennifer Morrell, Weber County elections director, confirmed that Griffiths didn't miss the deadline":
Those readers who'd like to dig a little deeper into the contorted facts can read Riverdale City Recorder Ember Herrick's full S-E comments section fact recitation and rationale right here:
It appears at this point that Riverdale City election officials may be hanging their shabby hats on this document, by which those gummint folks seem to be arguing that Griffiths may have "waived" his right to the protection of the above-cited state statute and instead agreed to conform to the earlier "botched" October 28 deadline date:
Next stop (assuming Mr. Griffiths has the requisite "spine"):

Next Stop: 2d District Court (Ogden)
We''ll continue to keep a close eye on this story of course, and and will be sure to let you know how it all wraps up.

Update 11/20/13 8:30 p.m.: Better late than never, the Standard is all over this epic fiasco this morning.  Mark Saal reports that state elections director Mark Thomas believes that Riverdale City is likely to lose in court, and that Mr. Griffiths has already "lawyered up":
As an added bonus, check out yesterday's opinion letter from Utah Lt. Attorney General Spencer Cox, which provides additional "ammo" for Mr. Griffiths' impending lawsuit:
Yep; the ball's now in soon-to-be Riverdale City Councilman Griffith's court.

Comments, anyone? Ferris?


Riverdale Resident said...

What we're seeing here is Small-town Utah Politics at its very worst.

Actuary321 said...

Thanks Rudi, I have enjoyed following WCForum because it always seemed that Ogden was so much more dysfunctional than Riverdale. I guess there is enough dysfunction to go around, huh?

I especially enjoyed your link to the deadline and filing date calculator. I guess that is for those who can't count to 7?

rudizink said...

"I guess that is for those who can't count to 7?"
Yeah we're talkin' about the Riverdale City Attorney and Recorder here, none of whom seem to have even fourth-grade level arithmetic skills.

Actuary321 said...

The council accepted the proposal from the recorder to disqualify Mr Griffiths. Looking forward to Griffiths v Riverdale City.

ben said...

Just wondering who is who and why now in Riverdale?

Actuary321 said...

Thanks ben. I kinda figured that this subject would get virtually no traction here on Weber County Forum. If it doesn't happen in Ogden, it doesn't happen. :)

Just keep coming down and buying your cars and visiting RC Willey, WalMart and Sam's Club, Target, and Home Depot. $$$

Actuary321 said...

Maybe because I keep F5ing it every 5 seconds? J/K.

Actuary321 said...

Well, the standard editorial board finally weighs in.


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