Lithonia Mayor booted out of office.

Lithonia Mayor Joyce McKibben was recalled and it wasn’t even close:

McKibben lost Tuesday night’s recall election 171-49, according to a tally at the precinct. The results are unofficial until election officials certify results in the next two days.

McKibben was undeterred Tuesday night, questioning the accuracy of the total and vowing to qualify to run in a Nov. 18 special election to pick a new mayor. Mayor pro tem Tonya Peterson will act as mayor until then.

“Please, there is no way that [count] is right,” said McKibben, who worked throughout the day to get supporters to the polls. “It’s all good, though. We are going to let justice prevail. I will be involved.”

McKibben’s ouster comes after months of conflict between the mayor and the city council. She had held the mayor’s office nine months in the city of 2,300, winning last November in a four-way race with just 76 votes.

McKibben said opponents targeted her because she had uncovered financial irregularities in the city. Outside audits released in March did show abuse of city credit cards and lack of financial controls dating back to 2005.

But critics said she was unfit, especially after McKibben fired the police chief on April 7, only to see the council reinstate him unanimously hours later.

Good for them.

16 comments

  1. Chris says:

    Taft,

    I’m sure if you write Fox you could get the Georgia Gang recalled. However, too many posts on that topic may hurt your chances of getting elected to Front Page Poster.

  2. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    Why would anyone elevate the Georgia Gang to be in the same sentence as Senators?

    Is there a new epidemic of Georgia Gang Derangement Syndrome (GGDS)?

  3. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    Lithonia is a sucky little spot in the road. However, with a city population of 2,300, I would have expect there to be enough non-convicts and registered voters for there to be a turnout exceeding 120 voters. Pretty anemic if a recall is worth undertaking.

  4. Tea Party says:

    @ODB Hit it on both counts!

    Anyone elese hearing about a new tie shop in Dunwoody called “Vernon’s”?

    Only 120 people cared enuff about the recall.

  5. Hate to un-hijack a thread, but this is unusual in Georgia politics and should serve notice to other local officials across the State. Tick the voters off badly enough, lose your office.

    Mayors, members of city councils, and county commissioners should beware, regardless of the total recall turnout number. Never underestimate the power of an angry few. As the lawyers say: “Govern yourselves accordingly.”

  6. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    I guess she was lucky there was not an Austrian born movie star in Lithonia, she would have gotten recalled a lot more severely. (LOL).

  7. Mike, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Georgia’s recall statute extremely tough on those wanting to recall compared to a state like California?

    I’m pretty sure you have to be able to show evidence that a law was potentially broken. So – bad vote in the legislature, no recall. Illegally dismissing police chief – recall?

    Although I guess you covered yourself well by saying mayors, members of city councils and county commissioners… But I think a lot of Georgians would probably be interested in the recall statute and what it can and can’t do.

  8. North Ga Indy says:

    Yeah, their house will be one of Walking Small’s Task Force Tanks that he spent the counties money on.

  9. Chris-
    Not 100% up on which behaviors ALWAYS trigger a recall, but since the State Senators and Reps are up every two years anyway, it would have to be something pretty egregious to get voters fired up enough to do so between elections.

    As I remember, a recall can be undertaken at any time, by a voter, for nearly any reason, but NOT one related to “discretionary” job performance by the elected official. So, if I don’t like the way somebody votes, tough nougies for me. But if they exceed their authority, abuse their office, or even (I think) engage in “conduct unbecoming, unprofessional or unseemly,” they can commence a recall.

    The toughest part for the re-callers has always been the petition. It’s something like two-thirds of the voters who were registered at the time of the election of the official to be recalled. That can be 2 or 3 year old data sometimes, and the signatures on the petition MUST match EXACTLY the signatures on the voter registration form -if you registered as “Christopher I. Hardcore” that’s how you have to sign the petition. The recallers always have to go for many more signatures than they need, since a good number of them always get tossed out.

    2/3 of registered votes is an AWFUL lot of signatures to collect in a State House district. Which is why cities and counties are more subject to a recall -the smaller numbers make it easier.

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