Banks voters recall fire district board president
Banks Rural Fire District President Mark Schmidlin has been recalled, losing his seat by 35 votes.
The official election results were certified by Washington County Wednesday, May 4.
Some 35% of eligible voters participated in the special election, casting 1,607 ballots. Of them, 51.1% chose to recall Schmidlin.
Meanwhile, board member Ed Ewing will retain his seat, as 47.6% of voters voted "yes" to his recall. Eight-nine fewer votes were cast in Ewing's race, meaning not all voters marked "yes" or "no" for the Ewing recall when they filled out their ballots.
The open seat will be filled by a majority vote by the remaining board members. If the majority can't agree, then a Washington County judge will appoint new members instead.
The recall petition printed on the ballots alleged that Schmidlin and Ewing failed to follow board policy by refusing to initiate investigations into multiple complaints of harassment — including allegations that Chief Rodney Linz sexually harassed a teenage girl and made racially disparaging comments about employees — in a timely manner.
Schmidlin and Ewing both submitted responses printed on the ballots calling the accusations "misleading or untrue" and "personal."
Linz has denied the allegations, and the fire board said last month that an outside investigation — conducted by a business partner of an attorney who consults with the Banks Fire District — had been completed and the board considered the matter closed.
The district has not shared the results or whether Linz has faced any disciplinary measures, citing a policy against commenting on personnel matters.
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