WESTMORLAND, Calif. - Three Westmorland council members – Ana Beltran, Henry Graham and Larry Ritchie - were served recall papers at Wednesday’s regular meeting.
Council Member Ana Beltran exclaimed “Oh! This is ridiculous!” when she saw the notice she received from Westmorland resident Gerald Landrum.
“I respectfully request that you step down city council and let others watching better the city take your place. You have been personally served an attempt to initiate a recall by me,” Landrum said.
He said some people in the community no longer trust the elected officials.
“We’ve had some problems with favoritism that we believe for the chief of police hiring of the new chief of police. And, also, with lack of pursuing an investigation into the criminal activities of our former police chief,” Landrum said.
Thomas Landrum questioned the council’s handling of alleged misuse of funds.
“What is the investigation into the ghost hours involving Chief Beltran, Sergeant Beltran. Over the last five years, they’ve earned the chief $97,000 dollars. The sergeant was $95,000 dollars. The next in line officer only made $26,000 dollars,” Thomas Landrum said.
City Attorney Mitch Driskill, working under the council’s guidance, said their investigation is done.
“We concluded our part of it, and we turned it back over to a federal agency to conclude their investigation,” Driskill said.
Westmorland resident Julio Pulido questioned the credibility of some people involved in the recall effort.
“What other illegal activities might the city clerk be up to?” Pulido said.
Landrum said the recall is official.
“The names of the signatures were checked by the elector’s office, and they were served today. I have to file them tomorrow, which I will be doing,” Landrum said.
The next step requires for the recall organizers to gather 219 signatures.
“The names will have to be checked. And once they are checked, then an election will have to be called,” Landrum said.
The special election could be within the next 90 days.