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Published: Wednesday, 5/27/2009

Group trying to recall Finkbeiner responds to lawsuit

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The group trying to recall Mayor Carty Finkbeiner filed a response Wednesday morning against the appeal filed by the mayor last month against the petitions.

Scott Ciolek, attorney for the recall group, filed the response with the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Mayor Finkbeiner on April 28 made good on a promise to fight the group trying to remove him from office with a recall and filed an appeal in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

The mayor filed against Clerk of Council Gerald Dendinger, who certified there were enough valid signatures to put a recall question before voters Nov. 3.

Take Back Toledo is asking the board of elections to deny the mayor's request to reverse the clerk's decision to certify the recall petition.

The group's filing states:

"The 'Take Back Toledo' recall petition is governed by the Toledo Charter, and parallel provisions contained in the Ohio Revised Code are therefore inapplicable;

"The 'Take Back Toledo' recall petition meets all applicable requirements set forth in the Toledo Charter;

"Take Back Toledo has gathered a number of valid signatures more than sufficient to place the recall issue on the September 15, 2009 ballot."

Mr. Finkbeiner's appeal last month said the petitions lacked sufficient valid signatures because of the omission of a mandatory provision warning that election falsification is a fifth-degree felony and its inclusion of 2,530 "false or otherwise invalid signatures in addition to the 18,899 false or otherwise invalid signatures identified" by the Lucas County Board of Elections.

The group Take Back Toledo collected 45,500 signatures to meet the required minimum of 19,753 signatures of registered Toledo voters.

The elections board validated 20,444 signatures and threw out 19,550, leaving about 5,000 unchecked, for now.

The mayor was notified April 20 by Mr. Dendinger that the petitions turned in April 9 had enough valid signatures to put the recall on the ballot.

The city charter gives the mayor five days to resign to stop the election but Mr. Finkbeiner said he would not resign.



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