Sunnyside recall petitions clear preliminary review

2013-11-21T00:00:00Z Sunnyside recall petitions clear preliminary reviewBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Sunnyside school board recall effort cleared its first hurdle Wednesday after the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office handed the signatures over to the Pima County Recorder’s Office.

Sunnyside Recall 2013 turned in more than 4,300 signatures last week of people who support recalling Sunnyside Unified School District board President Louie Gonzales and board member Bobby Garcia.

Officials from the school superintendent’s office had to review the completeness of the petitions, making sure dates, addresses and other information were properly included, said Ricky Hernández, chief financial officer for the superintendent’s office.

The recall group collected about 2,200 signatures to recall Gonzales and more than 2,100 for Garcia.

They needed a minimum 1,345 signatures from registered voters who live in the district to force a recall election for each board member.

The review found 1,962 eligible signatures for Gonzales and 1,899 for Garcia, Hernandez said.

The County Recorder’s Office will now have 60 days to verify the signatures.

Once the process is completed, a recall election could take place in the spring.

The recall group’s quest to oust Gonzales and Garcia began in July after the two board members, along with board member Eva Carrillo Dong, approved a contract extension for Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo.

Members of the group, along with others in the community, objected to the extension, citing Isquierdo’s personal and legal problems that surfaced last spring, when he became a finalist for a the superintendent’s job in San Antonio.

Isquierdo has been criticized for having unpaid taxes, a driver’s license suspension and filing for bankruptcy before he was scheduled to lose his Oro Valley home to foreclosure.

Others, including board members Buck Crouch and Daniel Hernandez Jr., have accused him and his supporters of nepotism, bullying and corruption.

Crouch and Hernandez are facing a separate recall drive from supporters of Gonzales and Garcia.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 573-4242. On Twitter: @JamarYounger

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