Volume 104, Number 12 - March 22, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Town Council stay denied
On March 20, Ninth Circuit District Court Judge Norman Young did not grant the defense’s request for a stay on his ruling in the Pinedale Town Council lawsuit.
Two weeks ago, Young ruled that Smith had been improperly elected to the council because he was not a registered voter when he petitioned to be included on the ballot in April of 2006. Robert Brito, the fifth place finisher in the town council election, and Loretta Deats brought the suit several weeks after Smith received the largest number of votes in the town’s May election.
After Young ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, defense attorney Ed Wood requested he issue a stay, or suspend Smith’s removal from the council until the defense had time to appeal the ruling. Wood said the judge took his request under advisement, but ultimately declined to grant it. Dave Hohl, who came in third place in last spring’s town council elections, will take Smith’s place on the council Wood said any decision to continue to appeal the judge’s ruling would be left to Smith, who said he was not sure if he would proceed with the appeal.
Smith said he was not surprised the judge did not answer the stay. He acknowledged the case had technical merits, but was still disappointed in its outcome. Had Brito won a seat on the town council, “the election would have been just as illegal,” but the suit probably never would have been filed, Smith said. He disputed Brito’s repeated assertion that the lawsuit was not the result of “sour grapes” because he was not elected to the council. “I think it sucks that the voters got ignored,” Smith, the top vote-getter, added. Smith said it was “way to early” to decide whether he would run for public office again.
Pinedale Mayor Steve Smith issued this statement: “District Court Judge Norman Young entered his formal order today. He did not issue a stay of the Judgment as previously requested. As a result, Councilman David Smith will be replaced by the candidate with the third highest votes, Dave Hohl, in accordance with state statute WY. Statute 22.17.108. We are sorry to see Councilman Smith go, and I personally appreciate his dedication and service to the tow. We will all ocntinue working productively with our new councilman, to continue solving the many pressing issues facing our town.”
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