A Middleton group aiming to recall the citys new mayor has collected more than 570 signatures to put a recall on the ballot probably in March if at least 519 of those signatures are confirmed as valid.
Concerned Citizens of Middleton turned in the petitions on Monday afternoon, satisfying the deadline. Now the county elections office has up to 15 days to verify the signatures.
Around the same time it announced the recall effort, the group asked the Canyon County prosecutor to investigate Mayor Darin Taylor for possible illegal conduct. The Canyon prosecutor forwarded the case to Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower, who announced late last week his office found Taylors actions were not criminal.
Taylor, a lawyer who was elected mayor in November 2011, has consistently denied any violation of law or ethics. He said he has increased communication with Middleton residents, holding twice-monthly community meetings to give people an opportunity to raise concerns, conducting a survey to see which projects residents most favor and launching a newsletter that goes out each month with utility bills.
The citizens group launched the recall effort in early September, releasing a 100-page report dominated by documents they say show Taylor broke numerous laws and made various unethical or ill-advised decisions. Taylor responded by posting detailed rebuttals on the city website.
Among Taylors moves that angered opponents were replacing longtime city employees and having the city pay for services he solicited before he took office.
Taylor acknowledged he held meetings with an attorney and engineer on his transition team before he took office, then appointed them and advocated the city pay around $10,000 to pay for services rendered after the election but before Taylor was sown in. He says such action is not illegal and was necessary to get key members of his team up to speed before his administration began. If the City Council had not approved the appointments, the city would not have been asked to pay those bills, he said.
The recall group also questions Taylors handling of the city budget and council agendas and the recent departure of Taylors appointed public works director.
If the petitition signatures are confirmed, a recall vote could be placed on the ballot in March.