CROFTON, Neb. (KCAU) — A recall election against a councilmember in a northeast Nebraska town will be taking place and petitions for two more potential recalls are in the works.
A recall petition against Crofton Councilmember James Murphy has been verified by the Knox County Clerk. Carissa Christensen is named as the principal circulator of the recall petition against Murphy with the petition started on May 23.
In the statement of reason for recall, Christensen said the following: “Murphy has been consistently inconsistent. One time to save himself and not save crofton thousands hiring CPA. He did not vote in 2022 to fix roads. He has had no opinions on important matters just did not vote or show up for meetings. He supports firing John Carter chief of police.”
In a statement of defense, Murphy said the following: “These allegations against me are false. I did not support hiring a special SPA firm. I have only missed two meetings in [2-and-a-half] years. I did vote to spend all the street funds allocated for our streets to improve them. If you have any questions, please call me at 605-760-4104 before you decide to sign this petition.”
Knox County Clerk and Election Commissioner Joann Fischer told KCAU 9 that the petition ended and that her office verified the signatures. The number of signatures needed was 75 and 67 valid__ of a necessary 63, meaning the recall election will take place. the number of signatures needed is based on a percentage of the number of max votes for the position during its previous election, Fischer said.
Notice was given to the city of the successful recall petition on June 27, so Crofton officials now have 21 days since the notice to set a date for the recall election.
There were also two recall filing forms filed against Crofton Mayor Robert Evans and Councilmember Larry Peitz filed on June 23 by the town’s former Police Chief John Carter. Fischer said they are still waiting on statements on defense from Evans and Peitz who have 20 days to return them, with the clerk’s office needing them by July 17.
When they receive them, her office will have five business days to create the petitions. Then, 20 calendar days will be given to Carter to pick up the petitions and another 30 calendar days for signatures to be collected. Like Murphy, 63 signatures will be needed to set up a recall election against Peitz, while the petition against the mayor will need 127 valid signatures.
Recently, there is a dispute between Evans, the mayor, and Carter in his position as police chief, with Evans having fired Carter and the other officer on the force. Carter is holding a town hall meeting on July 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pulley Museum.
The next Crofton city council meeting is set for July 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.