Alameda County charter change may impact efforts to recall DA Pamela Price

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Alameda Co. charter change may impact efforts to recall DA Price
Here's why Alameda County's charter change may impact efforts to recall District Attorney Pamela Price.

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- On Tuesday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to ask voters on the March ballot if appointed officials can be recalled.

"It would only be allowing the county supervisors to fire or let go of any non-elected (officials)," says Carl Chan.

Chan is with SAFE, or Save Alameda For Everyone, which is leading the effort to recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price.

For a second time this month, they rallied at the Board of Supervisors office demanding that no changes be made while recall campaign is underway. The Board of Supervisors has called parts of the Section 62, which pertains to a recall, as being out dated and unconstitutional. But watchdog groups call it a power grab.

MORE: Alameda Co. DA Pamela Price holds community forum discussing accomplishments, challenges recall

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price held another in a series of public forums Saturday night in Oakland.

"They are also making it so that the person who gets appointed cannot get recalled. So, you'd have basically (an) unremovable person appointed but the Board of Supervisors," explains Jason Bezis, with the Alameda County Tax Payers Association.

Chan admits, the proposed changes likely will not impact the current recall effort against Price.

"It doesn't impact a whole lot of what we are doing. But it is bringing so much confusion," says Chan. "And how they are using the charter of the county, Section 62? And, also with the state charter - which will overrule which one?"

One issue: who is collecting signatures. Chan says state law allows for anyone over the age of 18 to collect signatures in the recall. But county rules differ. And that could raise legal challenges against the recall.

MORE: 'Attack on our democracy': Alameda County DA launches campaign to fight recall

"There are a lot of differences between county and state law. there is absolutely no question that county law governors county elections," says Jim Sutton, an attorney who specializes in election law.

On Tuesday, Sutton, who is representing Price, wrote to the Board of Supervisors with concerns over the recall. The email states that board has the duty to "invalidate any and all signatures" collected by people who are not registered to vote in Alameda County.

"To be registered voters in the county- it is pretty basic. That law is on the books. It is going to be on the books for the foreseeable future, regardless of what happens with this charter amendment," says Sutton.

Sutton's letter states that Price will consider all legal options to enforce this county law.

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