Posted: Oct 31, 2012 8:15 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Oct 31, 2012 11:31 PM
SINTON - We have continuing coverage of the recall election in Sinton, demanding the recall of the mayor and two other council members. Today, a judge declared that petition invalid.
During a hearing today, City Attorney Juan Perales, argued that 20 signatures on the petition were invalid because they were not on Sinton Registered Voter List. The judge agreed and that dropped the number of valid signatures on the petition to under 500. And in order to have a valid recall petition in Sinton, there needs to be at least 500 signatures.
The attorney for the petitioners, Arnold Govella, argued that the city charter doesn't allow the city to represent council members in an election issue, but the judge overruled that argument.
We asked the city attorney if he felt like it was right for him to represent the council members being recalled. He said he was doing what the council authorized him to do.
"It's not like I was representing three councilmen. I was representing the governing body of the city of Sinton. Now the fact that they don't have to be unanimous, but that was the majority and that was their decision to make," Perales says.
And even with the loss today, the petitioners told us they aren't done.
"It's just one of those things that happens and we're going on with everything. We're going to do another petition and just keep going, keep working," petitioner Kelly Rigotti says.
They also told us they never expected to be sued for doing what they say the city charter allows. They were grateful that other citizens stepped up to pay their legal fees.
"I don't know what we'd do without Sinton. Sinton is backing us and this is our town. We want to take it back," petitioner Kelly Rigotti says.
And in the end, they told us the whole process didn't really make sense.
"If the city of Sinton is suing, well, we're citizens of Sinton, so we're suing ourselves," petitioner Cheryl Rigotti says.
The petitioners told us that they will begin a new recall petition drive as early as this weekend.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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