A petition to recall Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta has garnered the amount of signatures needed.
Petitioners had 90 days to get at least 530 signatures or 15% of eligible voters in the county. Pondera County residents filed the petition to recall Suta in July.
The petition's accompanying statement alleges several instances of Suta being incompetent. The allegations include abuse of power, sharing private information, not holding youth accountable, dishonesty, and leaving the county under-protected.
Stacy Welker said the petition has been a difficult topic for the community. She even sent her children away for the summer due to break-ins, vandalism, and verbal threats. Welker believes filing the petition was necessary and said she was relieved by the amount of support she received from county residents.
"It's been good and people were very brave. I mean a lot of people were very brave and I just want to give them credit too," she said.
Suta issued a written statement:
"I feel confident the voters will support me from my personal interactions and discussions I have had with them. The voters in this county are good honest people. I am truly blessed to live here. I'm very thankful for everyone who showed me support in this hard time of my life.The ones that signed the petition are the ones I need to focus on and do a better job for. I am truly here to serve everyone in this county in a fair and honest manner."
Now that the signatures are verified, Suta will have five days to resign. If Suta does not hand in his resignation within the five days, the county will hold a recall election. If the issue goes to voters, Suta will have the opportunity to write a rebuttal, which would be printed on the ballots.
Pondera County voters would then vote on whether or not to recall him.