Woman who sought recall won’t be prosecuted | NevadaAppeal.com

Woman who sought recall won’t be prosecuted

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The woman who started a recall attempt against Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira and missed last week’s deadline to return the petition won’t face misdemeanor charges.

Rheba Montrose signed out a recall petition April 19 and was required to return it within 90 days – which was Wednesday – no matter whether the attempt was effective, according to state code.

State rules also stipulate that if the petition isn’t returned, the responsible parties could be subject to misdemeanor charges.

“We’re not going to pursue it,” said District Attorney Neil Rombardo.

City officials interpreted the code to mean that the state would prosecute the case and vice-versa.

Rombardo pointed to the state’s revised statutes. It states, “The Secretary of State shall serve as the chief officer of elections for this state. As chief officer, the Secretary of State is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the provisions of title 24 of NRS and all other provisions of state and federal law relating to elections in this state,” according to section 293.124.

“Our office isn’t the proper authority to prosecute this case,” Rombardo said. “Our office has enough more serious crimes to prosecute. This doesn’t top our list.”

Last week, a spokesman for the state elections division said local officials likely would be allowed to decide whether to prosecute this case.

Montrose provided a letter to the elections office on Monday stating that she didn’t gather any signatures on the petition.

“And due to an accident I incurred I was unable to continue the task,” the letter stated.

The letter written by Montrose also said she didn’t print or make copies of the form and that she “also didn’t realize I was to turn in unsigned petitions.”

Montrose had cited Teixeira’s drunken driving arrest as her reason for the recall effort. The mayor later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated and was sentenced.

A special recall election would have cost the city $30,000 to $40,000.

Carson City’s next election for mayor is the primary contest on Aug. 12, 2008. The general election is Nov. 4, 2008.

Attempts to contact Montrose on Monday were unsuccessful.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.