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Posted: Thursday, 01 May 2014 2:50PM

Benton Harbor Mayoral Recall Election Halted With Preliminary Injunction

Berrien County Judge John Dewane is issuing a preliminary injunction to halt the May 6 mayoral recall election in Benton Harbor. In the seven-page decision, Dewane notes there is not enough time before the election to hold a trial to determine the facts related to disputed recall petition signatures that are alleged to have been altered in several different ways. He will hold a pretrial conference on the matter May 19 and is calling for the trial to be complete by July 11. In his opinion, Dewane writes it is obvious that the dates have altered on several signatures, even though they escaped the detection of Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler before being certified. At least a dozen signatures are in question, and if all are found to be invalid it would mean there were not enough valid petitions signatures to put the election on the May 6 ballot. Criminal cases are also pending against two petition circulators for allegedly allowing people to sign multiple times and changing dates, but Judge Dewane said at Tuesday's hearing that his ruling on the preliminary injunction is separate from those cases.


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