Ravalli County Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg has notified Stevensville Mayor Brandon Dewey that enough signatures on the recall petition submitted against him had been verified to trigger the next stage in the process in which the Mayor will have until June 4th to respond with a written statement to be placed on the ballot along with the petitioner’s allegations or resign from office. Instead, Mayor Dewey has fired off a letter to the Clerk and Recorder stating that the petition is “invalid and should be rejected on the basis of unsworn falsification and tampering with public records or information.”
The petition was filed by Stevensville resident Leanna Rodabaugh on March 30, alleging violations of Montana Code and Town Code as well as the Mayor’s Oath of Office. She claimed in her sworn affidavit accompanying the petition that Mayor Dewey had “assumed the power to make contracts, a power that is assigned to the Stevensville Town Council.”
In the petition, Rodabaugh claims the mayor’s action in signing the contract without council approval resulted in bypassing the competitive bid and contract award process. She claims the Town Council was not allowed to participate in the contract award process and the Town’s attorney was not afforded the opportunity to review the contract prior to the signing by the mayor. Finally, she claims that the mayor’s actions resulted in denying all citizens the right to participate in the process as well.
In his letter to the County Clerk and Recorder, Dewey claims that Rodabaugh has omitted facts and contradicted facts that she was well aware of before filing her petition. He claims that she was in attendance at a town council meeting where the IT services and contract in question in the recall were discussed.
“These facts presented in the meeting by City Attorney Scott Owens conclude that there was no merit to the allegations brought forth, now presented in the recall petition, and that no illegal action had been taken by the mayor or administration,” Dewey states in his letter. He quotes various laws and policies that were considered at the meeting by the city’s attorney in his reasoning and claims they demonstrate that no violation of state law or local ordinance occurred.
“Ms. Rodabaugh was aware of these facts when submitting the petition and further omitted the authority given to the Mayor in the purchasing policy from the language in the petition she submitted. Therefore, she has knowingly submitted false allegations and information in the recall petition,” the mayor claims.
He asks the Clerk to fully investigate the matter.
Dewey said that he expects a response from the Clerk soon after the Memorial Day holiday.