By David Morton, Nooga.com
Councilman Chris Anderson will file a lawsuit Tuesday morning that questions the motives behind the recall effort against him and, while the matter is being decided by a judge, asks for the petition drive to be halted.
The lawsuit will be filed in Circuit Court and names the Hamilton County Election Commission and Charles Wysong as defendants. The election commission approved a recall petition filed by several District 7 residents Thursday. Wysong, a conservative activist, is assisting in the signature-gathering effort.
An advanced copy of the lawsuit asserts that the election commission’s approval of the petition constitutes "state action of approving a recall process that has a discriminatory purpose and is, therefore, an illegal and unconstitutional action under the law."
"The election commission doesn’t have a position on what the motivation of the recall is, just whether the petition that was approved by the state was in proper form," said Chairman Mike Walden. "And that’s what we voted on.
"If it meets state law, then we approve the petition whether we like it or not," he said.
The lawsuit says Wysong’s involvement in the recall is to remove the councilman "for a discriminatory purpose." It describes him as an active participant and leader of the recall effort.
"He is advising other recall participants and is misguiding them so as to create a pretext for the recall to hide the true intentions of the recall, to remove Councilman Anderson because he is gay and because he is pushing a gay agenda," the lawsuit states.
"I think it’s utter nonsense," Wysong said. "No. 1, I did not file the recall petition. The people in the 7th District did. I’ve simply done consulting with them because I’m familiar with the recall process."
Attorney Stuart James said Monday that some of the public statements by Wysong and recall organizers regarding Anderson's sexuality raise questions about the effort.
"That's the point of this lawsuit," James said. "You can't use elections to recall people because they're black, white or gay."