Omaha Public Radio News
2:09 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

Omaha Mayor seeks restraining order to delay verification of petition signatures

Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle wants an extension of the deadline for the Douglas County Election Commission to verify recall petition signatures.

Suttle, through his attorney, filed a request for a restraining order last Wednesday in Douglas County District Court. The lawsuit names the Election Commission and Commissioner Dave Phipps as defendants. Suttle's lawsuit alleges electioneering by recall petition circulators in the Election Commission office.

The court documents rely on video transcripts of alleged false statements and misinformation provided by members of the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee. Among the alleged misstatements is that petition circulators told signers that a recall election would be paid for with federal or private money. Circulators also allegedly made false statements about the wheel and restaurant taxes in order to get signatures, according to the court filing.

Mayor Suttle also alleges that some paid petition circulators were from out of state. The court documents do not say who recorded or provided the video.

Suttle wants a 75-day delay in the verification of signatures while an investigation is conducted. A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 Wednesday morning before Judge Peter Bataillon.

The Mayor Suttle Recall Committee collected 37,600 signatures during their petition drive. The deadline for verification is Saturday.