Mayor has until midnight Monday to either resign or face a recall election in November
Fitzgerald and his attorney are no-shows for appeal hearing they requested
Norwood, Ohio – LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV was live this morning from the Hamilton County Board of Elections when those wanting a recall election of Loveland Mayor Mark Fitzgerald received a unanimous 4-0 vote ruling their petition sufficient. The recall vote will be on the ballot in the General Election this November.
After Sherry Poland, Director of Elections ruled on Tuesday that the recall petition was sufficient, giving Fitzgerald five days to resign or face the recall vote, Fitzgerald filed an appeal of her decision. The appeal hearing was this morning in Norwood.
Fitzgerald has until midnight Monday to resign or face an opponent in the November election who seeks to serve the remaining two-years of Fitzgerald’s term. The presumptive candidate if the Mayor does not resign is Neal Oury who says he has enough signatures on a nominating petition to run head-to-head with Fitzgerald, but will not submit his signatures if Fitzgerald resigns. He will instead allow the petition he has already submitted to run for an “open seat” on council to stand.
The Board expressed that Fitzgerald may further challenge. Speculation from many in attendance was that Fitzgerald may challenge “when” the election would take place. Neither Fitzgerald nor his lawyer was in attendance this morning to defend their appeal.
Fitzgerald appealed partly objecting to the address Rebeccaschild used as a signature gatherer, however, Oury said that even if the signatures she gathered were all disqualified the group had more than enough valid signatures.
Both Oury and Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC spokesperson, Halie Rebeccaschild spoke to Loveland Magazine after the decision and their interview can be seen in the rebroadcast of the hearing below. The PAC was not itself responsible for the recall petition drive, however, Rebeccaschild has been a spokesperson for both groups. Fitzgerald nor his attorney were present at today’s hearing, thus not available for comment.
Read this background about the recall election to understand the implication to the community: Fitzgerald files appeal on recall decision
[This story was updated 8/11/17 at 6 PM.]