Kansas City, Mo. — A petition drive seeking to recall Mayor Mark Funkhouser could be headed to court, after local election officials said a recount could not be done.
City Clerk Vicki Thompson told the City Council on Thursday that election boards in Clay and Platte counties refused to conduct recounts unless they are ordered to by a court. Election officials in the two counties said nothing in the city’s governing rules authorizes them to recount recall signatures.
The petition drive was 129 signatures short of the number needed to prompt a recall.
“It seems clear to me that going to court is the only way that this will be finalized,” Harris Wilder, spokesman for a committee of recall petitioners, told The Associated Press on Friday.
Thompson said in a memo that the petitioners had requested a recount by all three election boards that counted signatures, including the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners. But with two of the counties refusing to do a recount, Thompson withdrew a request for a recount by the Kansas City election board.
The recall was sparked by complaints about the role of Funkhouser’s wife, Gloria Squitiro, in his administration. She volunteered nearly full time at his office and came under fire for her brash personality and control of the mayor’s agenda.
The mayor also was criticized after he unknowingly appointed a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, an anti-illegal immigration group, to the city parks board, then declined to remove her or ask for her resignation.