On Wednesday, a presiding judge for King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington, ruled that the accusations against socialist Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant were verifiable and serious enough to justify a recall petition.
Judge Jim Rogers, whose family has lived in Seattle for four generations, and who served in the King County Prosecutor’s Office from 1994-2004, six years in the Special Assault Unit, and three years in the Most Dangerous Offenders Project Unit (homicide unit), ruled that four of the six charges against Sawant warranted the continued recall effort, as The Seattle Times reported.
The charges against Sawant in the petition are, according to MyNorthwest:
- That Sawant misused council resources to promote a ballot initiative in early February
- That she violated City hiring rules by giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative
- That she revealed the address of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home to protesters who later marched to her home
- That she endangered City employees by admitting hundreds of protesters into City Hall after hours
- That she “created a criminal environment” in the East Precinct area of Capitol Hill that ultimately led to the creation of the CHOP
“Rogers dismissed the charges related to the East Precinct and the CHOP, but allowed the others to move forward,” The Seattle Times wrote.
Vis-à-vis the ballot initiative, Rogers wrote that there is “actual knowledge of facts indicating that the Councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act …”
Rogers wrote that as far as giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative, “the councilmember had to persuade the Seattle Executive Committee of the Socialist Alternative to discharge an employee, effectively delegating a City staffing decision to an outside body, of which she was a member.”
Rogers stated of the charge of admitting hundreds of protesters into City Hall, “her alleged act of unlocking the building closed due to the pandemic and letting in the protesters inferentially proves the intent needed to allow the charge/allegation to go forward.”
On July 2, My Northwest reported that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a letter to Gonzalez urging her to investigate allegations against Sawant; Gonzalez refused, writing, “The public airing of issues amongst and between independently elected officials will not advance solutions on the deepening needs of our constituents. I remain focused on finding solutions and would welcome a letter from Mayor Durkan detailing her vision on how we can work together on enacting concrete solutions that meaningfully address these crises.”
On August 18, a petition was launched to recall Sawant from her position. On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted to pay for Sawant’s legal defense, 7-1, with Councilmember Debora Juarez the only member to vote against the idea.
Attorney John McKay, who represents the recall petitioner, said Sawant needed to be held accountable, asserting, “I realize that we’ve seen this happen at the highest levels of our government,” but “I hope that we are not living in a time in which our elected officials are not held accountable for violations of the law.”
#BreakingNews: A judge says a recall petition against Seattle Socialists councilmember Kshama Sawant can move forward.
Judge Jim Rogers. “The petitioner has shown actual knowledge of facts indicating that the Councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act.”
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) September 16, 2020