County Attorney Denies Initial Petition to Recall Libby Mayor

County officials said petition was not specific enough, woman who filed it will have second chance

By Justin Franz

Lincoln County officials said that a petition to recall Libby Mayor Doug Roll was not specific enough and that the woman who filed it would have to try again.

Election Administrator Leigh Riggleman said the petition filed on April 13 by Tammy Brown was reviewed by the county attorney, who determined that the accusations were too broad. The petition application has since been returned to Brown.

In her petition, Brown stated that Roll violated his oath of office and the law because he has refused to schedule meetings or address items brought up by the city council. Brown also alleged that Roll bypassed the council to appoint a new city attorney.

“Doug Roll has demonstrated his incompetence by continually failing to perform his duties, as spelled out in the city charter,” the petition reads.

Roll has denied that he violated the city charter and his oath of office.

If Brown decides to re-file her petition and it is approved she would have to gather 329 signatures – representing 20 percent of Libby’s registered voters – within 90 days to force a recall election.

The petition for recall is just the latest drama on Libby’s city council in the last few years.

For years, many of the issues have stemmed from the dysfunctional relationship between Roll and Councilmen Allen Olsen. But recently, disagreements have developed between Roll and other councilors, specifically Brent Teske, Dejon Raines and Brian Zimmerman, all of whom have asked Roll to step down as mayor. In previous interviews with the Beacon, both Raines and Zimmerman criticized the mayor for how he’s conducted city business. Raines said Roll has canceled city council meetings even though the government board has important work to do, like confirming the mayor’s city attorney appointment and fixing the fire department’s sagging roof.

If the recall effort were to move forward it would be the second recall effort to target a mayor in Lincoln County in four years. In 2012, a Troy city councilor filed a recall petition against the late Donald Banning, alleging the mayor had repeatedly abused his power by approving contracts and firing city employees without council consent. Banning filed a restraining order against the petition in district court but a judge ruled the recall election would go forward. In May 2012, Banning was recalled by a vote of 190 for removal and 123 against.

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