Tuesday, February 7, 2012

North Carolina: New Hanover County Commissioner misbehavior leads to possible recall bill

The misdeeds of New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger has led state Representative Carolyn Justice to discuss introducing a recall law.
Since he was elected in 2010, Berger was found guilty of violating a domestic violence protection order taken out by his ex-girlfriend. (though it seems like it was to attend a meeting at New Hanover County Community Action, where his ex-girlfriend works, although she wasn't in the building at the time.)
Last year, the state passed a law giving voters in Topsail Beach the ability to kick elected officials out of office through a petition of 30 percent of the registered voters, and then a majority vote in a special recall election.
Here's an interesting discussion though: 

County officials say their options are limited. One possibility, although unlikely, would be to use an ages-old quasi-judicial process, called "amotion," County Attorney Wanda Copley said.
That process, according to information from Coates' Canons, a blog of the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is rooted in English common law and rarely, if ever, used in recent times to oust an elected official.
Under the amotion process, grounds for removal include offenses "so infamous as to render the offender unfit for public office" and "offenses that both are criminal and constitute misconduct in office," according to the blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment