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Fire District 12 Supreme Court decision delayed

The effort to recall Mason County Fire District 12 commissioners was not heard in the state Supreme Court on March 9 as originally scheduled.

According to court documents, the respondents, Matlock residents Kristin Masteller and Amanda Gonzales, had an attorney file a motion March 16 for the Supreme Court to issue an order announcing the decision of the court with an opinion to follow. The document states the respondents proposed a briefing schedule and requested the case be on the court’s March 9 docket with a decision no later than April 1, but no order has been issued.

The respondents await the court’s decision so they can know whether they can begin gathering signatures to get the recall on the August primary ballot, according to court documents. All signatures must be gathered and submitted to the Mason County auditor by April 28 and respondents “need to be able to start this process as soon as possible.”

The attorneys for commissioners Brian Jutson, John Pais and Albert Wilder, the appellants, filed a statement of relief Monday, asking the court to deny the respondents’ motion for order with opinion to follow and asked the court issue its opinion along with the order so the commissioners and the public “may understand the court’s reasoning and engage in an informed debate regarding the recall should this court hold that any of the recall petition charges may proceed to the signature gathering stage.”

The respondents replied to the appellants Tuesday, stating the commissioners will not be “prejudiced in their ability to discuss the recall or gather support. They have known for months what the charges are and have plenty of time to formulate their defensive strategies and try to gather support to their side.”

“The only thing the parties need to know in order to proceed with the recall effort — or defense thereof — is which charges will or will not be going forward,” the court document reads. “The court can communicate that information in an order, with the opinion to follow, as it has done many times in the past.”

It is still unknown when a ruling on the case may be released. The internal investigation being conducted by attorney Brian Snure is scheduled to be released later this week. Fire District 12 commissioners held their monthly meeting Tuesday.

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Matt Baide, Reporter

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Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
Email: [email protected]

 

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