Denton locals aim to out rep

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New petition filed to recall Hawkins

Residents in Denton’s District 4 have filed another petition with the city to recall their City Council representative, Joey Hawkins.

This is the second attempt by residents to recall Hawkins, and the second time a petition for recall has been filed with the city. The first attempt was turned in Nov. 12 with 125 signatures, two days before Hawkins hit the six-month mark in his current term, voiding the petition.

The new petition was filed Monday with 131 signatures, said Lindsey Baker, a spokeswoman for the city. City Secretary Jennifer Walters now has until the end of the day Monday to verify the signatures.

“I expected this to happen, but I still have a job to do on council, and I’m going to do that job,” Hawkins said.

The committee of electors who submitted the new petition remain the same as last time, led by Theron Palmer. He and other members of the five-person committee did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The new petition cites three grievances: failure to return emails and hold public forums; Hawkins’ vote to repeal the ban on hydraulic fracturing in Denton; and how he “voted irresponsibly” on use of city funds and tax incentives.

If 76 of the signatures are verified, the city secretary has to present the petition at the next City Council meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 5. Then, according to the city charter, Hawkins has seven days to resign, and if he doesn’t, the council has to order a recall election.

Hawkins said Wednesday he’s prepared for the matter to go to a vote.

“I have a ton of people who are behind me and want to help me in any way they can,” he said. “I’m just going to be in campaign mode. I’ve had lots of people come and say they’re willing to help and they think I’m doing a good job on council, and they want me to finish out my second term.”

The election would be held May 7, the uniform election date. Until then, Hawkins will be able to function on council without restriction.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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