Indian Hills trustees challenge election in court

Two Indian Hills General Improvement District trustees who could be recalled in July are challenging the election in court.

The trustees, Rene Haskell and Joanne Reikenberg, are seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed from proceeding with the special election until District Judge Dave Gamble decides if the recall petitions are valid. Gamble has scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the pair's challenge, which was filed June 14 in District Court.

Reikenberg, Haskell and former GID trustee Dick Fairfax were the target of recall petitions filed by Indian Hills residents Betty Stellway, Richard Horn and Rhonda and Ken Pascoe. Fairfax resigned after the recall proponents submitted their petitions, leaving Reikenberg and Haskell to face the recall election.

Reed said the petitioners submitted more than enough valid signatures for a recall election and began preparing for one, tentatively scheduled in mid-July.

But Haskell and Reikenberg say they weren't notified of the recall effort until 18 days after the petitioners filed their notices. They say they should have been notified within two days, and the delay meant they missed a chance to defend themselves as the recall petitions were being circulated.

The complaint they filed contends the recall petitions are defective as a result. They want a ruling on whether the petitions are valid and an order stopping the election if they're not.

The recall group has accused the trustees of ignoring their constituents and making decisions that expose the district to legal liability. The trustees say they have tried to fully investigate all their decisions so district residents don't face higher costs.


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