Justices reject 4th recall against Snohomish County sheriff

February 10, 2022 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that rejected a fourth recall petition against Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney.

The first two petitions against Fortney included allegations he violated his duties by saying he would not enforce pandemic-related restrictions issued by Gov. Jay Inslee and by rehiring three deputies previously fired for misconduct.

While courts found some of those charges against the sheriff factually and legally sufficient, the sponsors of the recall campaigns failed to turn in any signatures.

One of those petitioners, Lori Shavlik, submitted but then withdrew a third recall petition.

Last April, Shavlik filed another recall effort — this one making some of the same allegations as earlier petitions, and adding several new charges. Those included that he retaliated against her because of her prior recall effort; that he sent personal emails from his government account; and that he improperly served on the board of a child advocacy organization, the Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center, and delegated forensic interviews of children to the center’s employees.

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In a unanimous opinion Thursday, the court said Shavlik’s allegations were all either insufficient or barred because they had been covered by previous recall petitions. The justices ordered Shavlik to pay legal costs Fortney incurred from her appeal of the lower court’s order.