Reporting Mark Katic
LAWRENCE (CBS) – They’ve fallen short in their effort but they are not giving up.
The group working to force a recall of Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua is announcing they are suspending their campaign but looking into irregularities that kept them from reaching the minimum number of signatures.
They needed just over 5,200 signatures, and only 4,300 were approved, but the group “It’s Your Right” says there were a number of problems and believe they were set up to fail.
Campaign coordinator Wayne Hayes told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 the first problem was that the petitions, required by city charter to be drawn up by City Hall, didn’t have the city clerk’s name and date, making them useless.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports.
“Nowhere does (the city clerk’s) signature or date show up on the petitions,” said Hayes.
Hayes said they found legitimate names rejected for unknown reasons, but also bogus names and names connected to bogus addresses, making those names invalid.
Hayes was asked if his group was set up to fail by supporters of Lantigua.
“We will let people draw up their own conclusions as to what has gone on here the past two years,” said Hayes. “We have businesses in the city that are terrified to be seen with us for fear of losing licenses or being inspected, some sort of harassment.”
The group will look at another recall effort later this year. Lantigua is also facing a federal and state corruption probe focused on his dealings with city businesses.