By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic
Controversial Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski will not face a planned May recall election after a victory in court Monday.
The councilman’s sister, Rosa Maria Morales, filed a lawsuit in early January challenging some of the technical components of the recall campaign against Nowakowski.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz ruled Monday that the Urban Phoenix Project PAC, the group leading the recall campaign, did not comply with legal requirements while collecting signatures for the recall.
In other words, there will be no recall campaign — unless the PAC appeals the decision and wins in a higher court.
“This case is a great reminder that ‘details matter’ especially when dealing with a recall or initiative campaign that is subject to a strict compliance standard under the law. The judge ruled that the recall petition is legally insufficient because the political committee which sponsored the recall failed to include the text of the recall with the petition sheets during circulation. The Speaker of the House, Rusty Bowers, and the Senate President, Karen Fann, intervened in this case to defend the constitutionality of the statutory strict compliance standard. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure every aspect of an initiative, referendum, or recall is done exactly right because they are complicated endeavors. This ruling serves as a strong reminder that campaigns must be especially vigilant with respect to accuracy and compliance with election law.”