Prosecutor Has No Plans To Remove Wapato Mayor
Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says he has no plans to remove the Wapato mayor from office through a legal process. Brusic says he's received numerous phone calls, emails and requests to do something about Wapato leadership. But in a press release Brusic says he considered but has no plans to remove the mayor through what's called a Quo Waranto process. Instead he knows that Mayor Dora Alvarez-Roa could be removed by voters in the next election cycle.
He says trying to remove the mayor through such a process would be a long and expensive legal process. Brusic released the following information on Thursday.
"The state of affairs involving the city of Wapato and its municipal government has been in disarray for nearly two years now. The good people of Wapato have suffered based upon their perception and opinion of incompetent governmental leadership. I have received numerous phone calls, emails and requests to do something about that leadership. More specifically, to attempt to remove from power and/or prosecute the former mayor/city administrator and current mayor. I have evaluated the facts and analyzed the law with respect to the attempted removal of current Mayor Alvarez-Roa. I have enlisted the aid of the extremely competent and intelligent Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys staff attorney Pam Loginsky. We have obtained the necessary information and documentation to make an informed decision on the current mayor’s removal.
I adopt her exceptional analysis regarding our inability to make a successful attempt at removal of the mayor under the facts, law and the time and resource issues facing the City Council and the people of the City of Wapato. As I previously stated, Ms. Loginsky is the foremost expert on the Quo Warranto process in the state of Washington. Her well-reasoned opinion regarding the lack of viability of a Quo Warranto action under these facts and circumstances facing Wapato lead me to believe that it simply would not be successful and would further stress the city of Wapato in terms of their governmental structure. As she points out, quo warranto actions would be filed against Councilmembers Perez, Cantu, Stephens and Alvarez-Roa. However, these actions would be rendered moot before entry of judgement based upon the upcoming election and their ouster or by the reappointment in a meeting that complies with the Open Public Meetings Act.
Simply put, making an attempt at removal of the current mayor and the other councilmembers in this short time frame which only came to light recently would do more harm than good for the city of Wapato, in our humble opinion.
Based upon the foregoing and Ms. Loginsky’s conclusions in her attached memorandum, I will refrain from filing Quo Warranto actions in an attempt to remove Wapato councilmembers from office. I certainly understand that this decision will have some negative consequences in the court of public opinion and some will disagree. I am fully accountable and transparent as your county prosecutor. I take full responsibility for my decision."