Pushback-State Supreme Court to Rule on Hatcher Recall Petition
Recently in late August, a Walla Walla Superior Court Judge ruled that a recall petition against Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher could move forward.
Judge Scott Wolfram presided due to conflicts of interests with Benton County judges. Benton County Sheriff's Segeant Jason Erickson is leading the recall effort, which would require at least 14,000 signatures to trigger a special recall election. That number is 1/4 of the votes Hatcher got when he was re-elected in 2018. He'd been appointed to replace Steve Keane in 2017.
Now, another pushback from the Sheriff, coming from the State Supreme Court.
The State Supreme Court will decide November 5th of the petition is legally valid, as all 9 justices will do what's called a rapid review. It's an accelerated 'looking over' of the petition.
Erickson began the petition accusing Hatcher of criminal misconduct, tampering with physical evidence, discrimination, intimidation against witness and workers and related retaliation. The tug of war has been going on in the county for nearly a year.
Supporters say Hatcher's personal life and divorce proceedings with his wife are being used as part of an effort to remove him based upon personal and partisan politics. Recall supporters say Hatcher has mismanaged the jail and Sheriff's department and is an abusive and abrasive ineffective leader, among other charges.