By Valliant Corley
WesCom News Service
GOLD BEACH, Ore. A group seeking the recall of Curry County Sheriff Mark Metcalf turned in enough signatures late to force a recall election if Metcalf doesn't resign by 5 p.m. today.
Curry County Clerk Renee Kolen set June 12 as the date for the recall election if Metcalf doesn't resign.
Chief Deputy County Clerk Connie Higgins said that Metcalf had been notified as of Friday morning.
If Metcalf does not resign, he may submit a 200 word statement of justification that can be printed on the official ballot for the recall election, but that statement must be submitted by 5 p.m. today.
The same group had earlier tried to recall Metcalf but waited until the last day to turn in their signatures. At that attempt, it was determined there weren't enough qualified Curry County voters among the signatures to force a recall.
This time, the group worked to get their signatures in well before the deadline, which would have been June 13. The majority of their signatures sheets were in last week.
"We only needed 23, so we turned in 60," said David Darnell, who was in charge of collecting the signatures. "We've got extra sheets left over. They only count until they have the number we need. We're in really good shape."
About two-dozen Curry County residents collected signatures.
"People found out, and they just came over and volunteered," he said. "Once it got rolling, it went. If we had waited until June 13, we'd have had 3,000 to 4,000. We weren't going to wait. We wanted to get it over with."
The statement of reasons demanding a recall on the petition reads: "Past and present unethical and criminal activities by the Curry County Sheriff have established a lack of confidence in his ability to properly run the office of sheriff. A 97 percent vote of no confidence by the employees working under Sheriff Metcalf within the sheriff's department mandates his recall from office so that the public can better protect our deputies and dispatchers who risk their lives every day to protect us." v