Snohomish County Sheriff no longer faces a recall vote

Sheriff Adam Fortney

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney no longer faces a recall vote.  The campaign against Fortney did not submit any signatures by this week’s deadline to force the vote. Recall campaign leader Colin McMahon has said the group has been “hamstrung by the pandemic,” and that COVID restrictions interfered with their recall effort.

The Fortney recall campaign had asked for an extension until June to get enough people to sign on, but a judge on Monday denied the request. They needed 45,000 valid signatures; they have not reported how many signatures they did gather. Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell said that “no recall petition was submitted” by the deadline. Attorney Mark Lamb represented Fortney. He said he could not speak for the sheriff, but was reassured that the campaign failed.

Fortney was the target of two recall efforts. One never got around to gathering signatures. The second, launched by a group of attorneys in Everett, alleged that the sheriff had “incited” people not to follow Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home-Stay Safe” COVID-19 orders, and that he had also said he would not enforce the Governor’s order, which is different from the incitement charge. The campaign also charged Fortney violated his duties and unreasonably used his discretion to rehire three deputies that the previous sheriff had fired for misconduct.

Fortney does not face any other legal challenges.




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