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Judge Spikes Bid to Recall Mayor

1-25-2007:

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Mayor Oliver Parker has squelched the recall effort against him, at least for now.

On Wednesday, Broward Circuit Judge Barry E. Goldstein ruled that the recall supporters did not prove misfeasance, one of seven grounds for recalling an elected municipal officer.

More than 700 of the town's roughly 7,000 residents signed petitions to oust Parker in a special election. They claim he committed misfeasance when he voted for a fire-assessment fee that was partly allocated to emergency medical services. Municipalities cannot charge residents a special assessment for EMS.

Parker then sued the head of the recall committee, Stuart Dodd; the town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea; and Brenda Snipes, Broward's supervisor of elections, claiming the recall is groundless and the petitions don't comply with state law.

"It's the right ruling," said Stuart Michelson, Parker's attorney.

Parker's opponents have not decided whether to appeal Wednesday's injunction.

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