Seattle mayor appeals recall decision to state Supreme Court

August 12, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is asking the state Supreme Court to reverse the decision of a King County judge that has allowed a recall effort to move forward that could result in her being removed from office.

Five Seattle residents filed a petition seeking to recall Durkan over her role in the police response to the protests that have dominated the city this spring and summer, The Seattle Times reported.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts has twice allowed the petition to go forward. Of the seven charges filed by the petitioners, Roberts initially dismissed six, but allowed one to go forward “more narrowly than alleged.”


Durkan asked Roberts to reconsider. Roberts declined.

Now Durkan is asking the state’s highest court to weigh in. Her notice of appeal, filed Wednesday, contains no new arguments. It only asks the Supreme Court to reconsider Roberts’ decision.

Roberts’ role is to assume the charges, as filed against Durkan, are true, and to determine whether they’re both specific and serious enough to allow the petition to proceed. The charge she allowed to go forward alleges Durkan failed to implement new policing policies after tear gas and other chemical agents were used on protesters. It accuses her of “misfeasance, malfeasance and violation of the oath of office.”

Durkan has argued that it’s the chief of police’s job to dictate Seattle Police Department policies and, that even if it was her job, changing police policies without court approval would violate the city’s longstanding consent decree.