4

Andrea Merida: Attempt to recall DPS board member fails for lack of petition signatures

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

An attempt to recall controversial Denver Public Schools board member Andrea Merida appears to have failed. The three southwest Denver voters who asked for the recall had until Monday to submit a petition complete with the signatures of 4,342 voters in Merida's district. According to Nancy Reubert of the Denver Clerk and Recorder's Office, they did not do so.

The attempt to recall Merida began in early September, when the voters submitted an initial petition to the Denver Elections Division asking that Merida be recalled on the grounds of "unethical conduct" and "unbecoming behavior."

At the time, one of the voters, Anita Banuelos, told Westword that the effort was prompted partly by Merida's failure to disclose she was a paid staffer for former U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff when she wrote an op-ed for the Denver Post in July that criticized comments made by Romanoff's opponent, Senator Michael Bennet.

"I feel like she has a political agenda," Banuelos said in September. "She's always asking for transparency, transparency. But that's the pot calling the kettle black."

The Elections Division rejected this petition because it was not in the proper format. The petitioners tried again to no avail. However, a third attempt was successful. Once the Elections Division approved the petition, it gave the voters sixty days to collect the 4,342 signatures.

The sixty-day time frame expired yesterday. A little after 5 p.m., when the office closes, Reubert reported that no signatures had been delivered, therefore nullifying the effort.

For more on Merida, read "Rule Breaker," Westword's profile of her.

Though Merida dodged a recall, she may still face a censure vote. Board President Nate Easley moved earlier this month to censure Merida and fellow board members Jeannie Kaplan and Arturo Jimenez -- who often vote together in the minority on the seven-person board -- because he says they violated open-meeting law when they met with a lawyers' group about a schools-turnaround plan. Easley has since postponed the vote.

More from our Education archive: "DPS school turnaround: Those opposed to plan have their say, but board approves it anyway."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.