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Seattle Mayor Appeals Judge’s Decision That Could Result In Her Removal From Office

Democratic Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan urged the state supreme court Wednesday to overturn a lower court decision that allows efforts to remove her from office to proceed.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts has permitted a recall effort that could effectively remove Durkan from office, according to the Seattle Times. A total of five Seattle residents submitted the petition due to the mayor’s handling of the police response to protests and a weeks-long encampment in the city formerly known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP), the Times reported.

Durkan appealed to the Washington Supreme Court after Roberts refused to reconsider her stance, according to the local outlet. Her most recent effort to avoid the potential removal simply asks the higher court to reconsider and offers no new arguments, the Times reported.

The five residents alleged Durkan “endangered the peace and safety of the community and violated her duties,” according to a court document. The recall process could be extensive, as the petitioners would have to collect over 50,000 signatures — one-fourth of the total voters in the last mayoral election, The Times reported.

Durkan’s spokesperson Kelsey Nyland insists the accusations are unfounded.

“In the midst of unprecedented challenges for the city, Mayor Durkan has consistently acted to protect the public health and safety of residents during the pandemic, economic devastation, and demonstrations for justice,” Nyland told the Times.

In the beginning stages of the CHOP incident, Durkan tweeted that the seized zone is “a place for free speech, community and self expression.” The area occupied by CHOP included an abandoned Seattle police precinct.

A total of six people were shot in the occupied area before it was disbanded by law enforcement weeks later, according to the New York Times.

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