The breaking news is that the Committee to Recall Commissioner Lutz (a.k.a. Kevin Kanieski) has withdrawn the recall application. In the battle of press statements, Kevin Kanieski said, “”In recent work with our legal counsel we are even more convinced our position that (Lutz) violated the Open Meetings Law is correct. Our withdrawal is only to prepare a new and stronger case for the court.” The attorney for Commissioner Lutz responded with; “Today’s withdrawal of the Application for Recall is nothing more than an attempt to delay the inevitable failure of the recall effort. Chairperson Kanieski is looking for a second chance– just like those defeated in the last election who are behind this recall. He has asked to withdraw the Application for Recall, but has avowed that he will try again. Regardless of his actions, we continue to seek a ruling of the Application’s lack of merit before Judge Davis.”
There is nothing like a person who throws the first punch then runs for cover. The question now becomes, can he run for cover? In browsing though the Georgia code for recalls, O.C.G.A. § 21-4-9(e) says that a person may withdraw their signature anytime before the application is submitted. Well, the application was submitted and verified back on August 18th. The way I read the law, it’s too late.
I would think that Lutz would be ready to get to the end of the process. As reported, “Kanieski’s affidavit states it is his intention “by the signing and filing of this affidavit to withdraw the application for recall without prejudice.” By doing to “without prejudice,” Kanieski is not prohibited from re-filing the recall application at a later date.” At best, this looks like some serious gamesmanship from the recall committee; at worst it looks like harassment.
I don’t see this being the end of the current petition. Now that a Gwinnett County judge has been assigned to the case, I am guessing that Commissioner Lutz will want the case heard. Kenieski all but admitted in his statement that they are not prepared to prove anything. It also appears that they have now engaged a lawyer to help them with the process. If I am their lawyer, I would want time to get in front of this mess. The application was vague at best and potentially libelous causing issues for anyone that is asked to take the stand.
One thing that I will say about Lutz: he sure keeps his name in the news cycle. What I am waiting for, however, are the names of the co-conspirators from the recall to take the stand.
Hugh Hall County Akston