Revised Recall Petition Against Mayor Rejected, City Attorney Steps Down

Opponents of Roll vow to continue recall effort

By Justin Franz
Doug Roll. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

A second petition for recall against Libby Mayor Doug Roll has been rejected but the woman who filed it has vowed to keep trying to remove the community’s embattled leader.

Meanwhile, Libby’s newly-appointed city attorney resigned last week during a ruckus city council meeting, during which the public peppered Attorney David Tennant about seven counts of professional misconduct that were recently lodged against him by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Tennant’s appointment as Libby’s chief lawyer has been a source of tension between Roll, who hired the city attorney earlier this year, and a number of citizens calling for the mayor to step down. In April, Tammy Brown filed a petition for recall against Roll. In it, she alleged the mayor had 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’s first two petitions have been rejected by the Lincoln County Attorney who has said the complaint was not specific enough but Brown has vowed to keep trying until Roll is gone.

Roll has previously denied the allegations lodged at him and said many of Libby’s problems lie with an inexperienced council.

During the May 2 city council meeting, residents took to the microphone to complain about Libby’s new city attorney and the process in which he was hired. Tennant was hired by Roll on a temporary basis but the action went unapproved by the city council for weeks; Roll said he was within his given powers to hire the Kalispell-based lawyer, but come some councilors disagreed. But in April the Office of Disciplinary Counsel accused Tennant of misconduct, alleging he put a lien on a client’s property for nonpayment of fees, pursued foreclosure and then anonymously bought the property for well below market value at a sheriff’s auction creating a conflict of interest. After being confronted by numerous members of the public during the May 2, Tennant announced he would step down. His resignation was accepted by the council and the attorney walked out of city chambers.

On Monday, Roll told the Beacon that the city will start searching for a new attorney soon, although with the current drama on the council, he suspected it might be hard to fill the position.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.