The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Recall ruling expected soon


December 7, 2016

A ruling is expected to be made this week that will decide the fate of a recall election for five elected officials in Whitehall.

Following nearly six hours of testimony in the 5th Judicial Courtroom in Boulder last Friday; Judge Katherine Bidegaray said via a teleconference feed she would make a decision later this week.

The hearing was a continuation of an August hearing challenging the recall petitions submitted by Whitehall resident Lynn Nemeth. A temporary restraining order was granted on July 15 to prevent a recall election for Mayor Davis, and Council members Tom Jenkin, Gerry Keogh, Joe Adams, and Gary Housman from moving forward. The law firm of Guza, Nesbitt, and Putzier was challenging the petitions based on the argument they were invalid as to form as well as legally insufficient.

While she did not make an official ruling, Bidegaray said she was learning towards ruling the petitions invalid as to form.

She said if this is the decision she makes, it is still not addressing the underlying complaint listed in the petitions, and nothing would prevent Nemeth from submitting another petition.

The petitions stated, “Grounds for recall include violation of oath of office and official misconduct.”

During the hearing last week, Attorney Edward J. Guza said the petition has information that did not happen at the April 11, 2016 Council meeting and is therefore factually incorrect.


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