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Recall of controversial Pacific mayor stalled in court

Mayor Sun's critics hoped to have a recall election next month, but there have been so many legal filings and challenges in this case it will likely be summer before a special election could be held, if one is held at all. (City of Pacific Photo)

Pacific Mayor Cy Sun was at it again this week, walking out of yet another city council meeting. But as Mayor Sun and the city council continue to argue over hiring more police officers and the management of the city, the effort to recall the write-in mayor is stuck in court.

Mayor Sun's critics hoped to have a recall election next month, but there have been so many legal filings and challenges in this case it will likely be summer before a special election could be held, if one is held at all.

Tracey Apata started the recall effort last year, after the mayor fired city managers and the police chief and as the city's insurer dropped its policy because of all the lawsuits being racked-up over Mayor Sun's decisions.

She claims the mayor and his legal team are throwing up every roadblock in the courts to prevent the recall. "They've fought everything," Apata said. "He's unavailable. His attorney is unavailable. We didn't argue this right. They didn't submit this in time. It's just gone back and forth like that."

Zach Jarvis is one of Mayor Sun's attorneys. He describes the process differently. "Mayor Sun is not throwing up roadblocks," said Jarvis. "He's attempting to clarify the record and fight against allegations which he maintains are untrue."

Jarvis said the mayor's critics haven't met the legal burden to force a recall, providing evidence of malfeasance or misconduct. "I don't think Cy or probably anyone else viewing this situation thinks it's appropriate that he is recalled as a public official because people may not like him," he said.

But Apata and her supporters believe they have all they need to win in court. "He's saying that he's doing what the people want and he's listening to the people, yet he won't allow the people to speak in a vote, which is all the recall is," she said. "We just want the people to be allowed to speak, and he doesn't want that to happen."

If the state Supreme Court rules the recall can go forward, Apata's group would still have to gather enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

More motions in this case will be filed in March.

About the Author


Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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