Group continues fight to recall Mayor Littlefield
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A group of Chattanoogans are not giving up recalling Mayor Ron Littlefield.
A judge halted the group's efforts nearly a year ago, saying the petitioners failed to follow state law when they collected thousands of signatures.
They're appealing that decision and they made their argument in front of a higher authority.
The state court of appeals heard from all sides, Wednesday, the Hamilton County Election Commission, the City of Chattanooga, Mayor Littlefield who's trying to hold onto his office and the group who are fighting to recall Ron.
"As far as I can tell this is the first time in the history of the state when a court has enjoined an election," says Frank Pinchak, Attorney representing the recall Ron effort.
Pinchaka asked the panel to throw out Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth's decision to stop the Hamilton County Election Commission from holding a recall election of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.
"They stopped the whole process in its tracks," says Pinchak.
"The election cannot proceed legally under any circumstance," says Tom Greenholtz, Littlefield's attorney.
Littlefield's attorney says the circuit court ruling should be upheld.
"Illegality found by judge Hollingsworth below is based solely on the number of signatures," says Greenholtz.
The election commission told recallers they needed enough signatures to meet the city charter's threshold. Hollingsworth ruled they needed enough to meet a higher number set by state law.
"It's our position that decision, under the law of this state, was for the election commission and not for the circuit court," says Pinchak.
Littlefield's attorneys declined to comment for this story while the case is pending. They point out that recallers are free to go back to square one and start a new petition drive.
"It's time for a real change right now and 15k people have spoken and the city council needs to pay attention to this and move in that direction," says Jim Folkner, with the recall effort.
The appeals court will likely take several months before issuing a decision.
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