An effort by the former chief of Lewis County Fire District 1 in Onalaska to recall the district’s two sitting commissioners will not reach Onalaska residents’ ballots.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke ruled to dismiss all 11 charges in the recall request in a written order Friday, following a hearing Jan. 30 in superior court, noting in her ruling that state law protects public officials from “frivolous or unsubstantiated charges.”
“An elected official can only be recalled for cause,” she wrote. “A recall for cause must be factually and legally sufficient.”
Former Chief Andrew Martin and former Captain Randy Tobler filed a request to recall Lewis County Fire District 1 commissioners Rich Bainbridge and Bill Kassel on Jan. 10, citing what they believed to be 11 violations of state law primarily regarding the state Open Public Meetings Act.
At the Jan. 30 hearing, Martin argued that the commissioners had received training on the Open Public Meetings Act, but chose to disregard it.