Signature gathering for recall of Householder as Antioch City Clerk can begin

Petition approved by deputy city clerk on Monday; second recall Householder faces including possible removal as school board trustee, third in city with Thorpe also facing possible removal as mayor

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder.

By Allen Payton

Ellie Householder made local history, last year by becoming the first person to be elected as both an Antioch School Board trustee and a City of Antioch official, when she was elected city clerk. This year, she’s made history, again – as the first person in Antioch to face recall from both positions. On Monday, Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia, a Certified Municipal Clerk, informed recall proponent, and former Antioch School Board Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray that the petition submitted 10 days ago was approved – on the last legal day required, because Garcia was on vacation, last week. Householder City Clerk Recall Petition Certification Letter -122721 – redacted

The organizers can now begin gathering the necessary 9,521 valid signatures of registered voters in the city to place Householder’s second recall on the ballot. They have 160 days collect them, which gives them until June 6, 2022. However, if enough signatures are gathered sooner, the recall election could be placed on the June Primary Election ballot.

This is the third recall being faced by an Antioch elected official, with signatures already being gathered to remove and replace Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who is Householder’s political ally. The organizers for his recall must have the same 9,521 signatures to place his name on the ballot.

In their message to Householder, the recall proponents included their reasons for the recall on the petition. SUBMITTED-PETITION FOR HOUSEHOLDER CITY CLERK RECALL

It reads, “The grounds for the recall are as follows: You violated the California Public Records Act (Government Code 6253) by failing to provide a copy of a public document to the records department at Antioch City Hall and thus hindered a constituent from their right to inspect a public record. You rejected the first drafted petition to recall the Antioch mayor without including a statement of what alterations to the petition were necessary (Elections Code 11042(c)). You then rejected a second petition citing election code 107(b), which is not applicable to the recall effort. You ignored the proponents request to send your findings via email, instead choosing to send them via certified mail at a cost to the city and cited elections code 11224 as your reason to not email them. Election code 11224 refers to the certification process of approved petitions that have already been signed by registered voters and was erroneously cited. You omitted emails from a Public Records Request, once again violating the California Public Records Act. This misuse and misapplication of Election Codes and continued violations of Government Code 6253 illustrates your inability to do the job in which you were elected and warrants your removal.”

In addition, the recall supporters provided a timeline of the process for obtaining approval for Thorpe’s recall petition. It took Householder almost two months, from October 11 until Dec. 2nd to approve the petition, on the organizer’s fourth attempt. (See related article).

Timeline of steps taken by organizers in the process for the recall of Antioch Mayar Lamar Thorpe. Source: Lindsey Amezcua

Householder was served with the notice to recall her on Nov. 30 while awaiting Thorpe to arrive for one of his press conferences. She had the opportunity, within 10 days, to provide a written answer in response to the allegations against her on the petition, but like the mayor, she chose not to. (See related article)

Some supporters of the mayor’s recall have speculated that the California Secretary of State’s Office communicated with and directed Householder, in response to the third submittal of the petition by the organizers of the mayor’s recall, to provide more details of what the city clerk’s office was requiring them to do in order to comply.

Householder and Garcia were asked via email Monday night, if that is true and, if so, to provide a copy of the communication between the Secretary of State’s Office and their office. Householder was specifically asked, if not, why did she finally decide to provide those details that she didn’t provide in her first two response letters.

In addition, Householder was asked via email and phone message, Monday night, “now that the petition for your recall as City Clerk has been approved for signature gathering, since you didn’t provide a written ‘Answer’ in response to the recall notice that would have been printed on the petition, as you were allowed, would you like to respond now? What do you want to say to the voters about the multiple allegations against you, written in the petition?”

As of Tuesday morning, at 10:50 a.m., neither of them had responded. An additional attempt to reach Garcia Tuesday morning was also unsuccessful.

A Public Records Act request was made by the Herald to Deputy City Clerk Garcia, for copies of any and all communication between Householder and the California Secretary of State’s Office regarding the recall of Mayor Lamar Thorpe. Garcia has 10 days to provide any document(s) or a reason why they can’t be provided.

Organizers have set up a Facebook page to support their efforts to recall Householder as city clerk.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Thorpe Recall Timeline


Householder City Clerk Recall Petition Certification Letter -122721 – redacted

Ellie Householder City Clerk recall

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