Signatures submitted for Benton Township recall effort

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — The recall effort for two Benton Township officials continues to move along.

The Berrien County Clerk’s office confirmed Wednesday the signatures collected on behalf of the recall of Clerk Carolyn Phillips and Treasurer Debra Boothby were turned in last Friday. The county has 35 days to determine if there are enough valid signatures to force a recall election.

Benton Township resident Willie Dortch submitted a recall petition after the two officials voted Feb. 11 to appoint former trustee Kevin White as township supervisor.

Dortch said he filed the petitions because Boothby and Phillips went about appointing the new supervisor the wrong way. Dortch filed his recall petitions May 7, with them being approved at a May 18 clarity hearing.

While Boothby and Phillips declined comment, the two have previously said they will not appeal the petitions, but will run for re-election if sent to a vote.

Recalls can only take place in the May or November election, so Dortch said he wanted to submit the signatures by July 31 – the November election deadline. Dortch needed a minimum of 781 signatures for each public official.

The number of signatures is determined by 25 percent of the votes cast in the officials’ district in the last gubernatorial election in 2014.

If Boothby or Phillips are recalled, their replacements would finish their terms for the remaining year, which end in November 2016.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 23, 2015)

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