Socialist city councilmember Kshama Sawant is facing a potential recall from Seattle residents after a judge ruled on Wednesday that there was enough evidence for several charges leveled against her to proceed.
King County Judge Jim Rogers upheld four of the six charges brought by the petitioner Ernest Lou, saying in his order that Lou acknowledged the other two were “legally insufficient.”
Those included allegations that Sawant, a controversial figure in the ongoing protests, had encouraged protesters to occupy the city’s East precinct and helped create the notorious Capitol Hill Occupation Protest (CHOP) zone.
The four remaining charges related to the way Sawant allegedly abused her office. Specifically, Lou alleges that Sawant let protesters into City Hall during a nighttime protest and spoke at another demonstration in front of the mayor’s house.
“The petitioner has shown actual knowledge of facts indicating that the councilmember intended to commit an unlawful act,” Rogers said. Lou filed the petition at the end of August.
According to The Seattle Times, Sawant’s attorney called the petition a “political screed” against the councilwoman.
“We have elections in this state and in this city, and those elections are where the decision as to who is holding this office is supposed to be determined,” attorney Dmitri Iglitzin said. “This is on its face, by any fair reading, a political screed against Councilmember Sawant.”
Lou’s attorney, John McKay, insisted that officials like Sawant should be “held accountable for violations of the law.”