Court asked to halt recall election

A Redington Beach commissioner files a petition and a separate complaint asking for the recall to be made invalid.

Published August 9, 2006

REDINGTON BEACH - Commissioner Sam Maniotes, who is facing possible recall from office, has filed for a court injunction to stop the Sept. 19 recall election.

If granted, the petition for temporary injunctive relief will allow the court to review a separate complaint asking the court to declare the pending recall election invalid under state law. He is also asking the court to force the town to pay his legal fees.

Maniotes argues that the recall petition was incorrectly formed and that the charges made in the petition did not meet state requirements.

The recall petition cites Maniotes for "malfeasance for failing to produce public records," "neglect of duty" for failing to schedule certain public meetings, failing to sign checks on behalf of the town, accusing but failing to substantiate allegations of wrongdoing by public employees and creating a "hostile work environment" within the town.

Maniotes claims the recall allegations against him are "legally insufficient" because they are "mere conclusions," not based in fact, and - even if true - "do not constitute a legal basis for recall."

He also argues that the residents circulating the recall petition did not properly certify that each signature was genuine and that his statement of defense was improperly positioned on the final recall petition.

Maniotes' two legal filings named both the town and Anna Wiggers, chairwoman of the recall committee, as defendants.

Town Attorney Dominic Amadio said Tuesday that he will answer Maniotes' court petition but declined to detail what that answer would be.

Under the state mandated recall process, the town acts as the intermediary between the residents seeking the recall and the elected official who is subject to the recall.

"I believe we have done (the recall petition) properly," Wiggers said.

If the recall election goes forward, voters will be asked whether to keep Maniotes in office until his term expires in March. If he is recalled, either James Hoffman or Nick Simons - whoever gets the most votes on a separate ballot - will fill out the rest of Maniotes' term.