BENTON COUNTY, WA- Thursday a judge ruled the recall against Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher can continue.
The judge ruled eight counts of either misfeasance, malfeasance or violation of his oath of office that Sheriff Hatcher allegedly committed. An order will be submitted with this ruling next week and Sheriff Hatcher's team has 15 days to appeal which according to Sheriff Hatcher's attorney they plan on doing and are confident they will win the appeal.
"I was a little disappointed with the court because it really did not understand the depth for which it is supposed to analyze the sufficiency of the allegations," said George Telquist who is Sheriff Hatcher's attorney. "Like the court said it was not affirming or saying that anything Sgt. Erickson said was accurate or true it was just engaging in its legal analysis and I don’t think that the court got it right."
Once the appeal is submitted the eight counts will be reviewed by the Washington State Supreme Court in expedited time, meaning quickly. The Supreme Court is reviewing whether or not the superior court judge's ruling was correct. If all counts are deemed incorrect then the recall is dropped but if at least one count ruled by the superior court judge is deemed correct then the recall will be moved to the ballot. Once on the ballot the public can vote on whether or not Sheriff Hatcher should remain sheriff.
Before it moves to the ballot at least 14,000 signatures must be collected. Those signatures represent 25 percent of votes collected during Sheriff Hatcher's last election.