Signatures are still being gathered for petitions to remove Newport District Supervisor Buzz Bailey and Hardy School Board member Herb DeGroft from office.
As of Saturday, the group circulating Bailey’s petition had 255 signatures, said Joe Puglisi, who is heading up the effort.
For the petition to be valid, it needs at least 238 signatures from registered voters living in the Newport District.
Puglisi said his group is aiming for a bit more than that just to have a cushion.
The group heading up the DeGroft petition has about half of their goal of 205 signatures, said Rosa Holmes-Turner.
They are also shooting for about 25-35 percent more signatures to make sure they have enough that are valid, she said.
Turner said the response to DeGroft’s petition has been good. Those who declined to sign the petition said they would like DeGroft to resign now rather than waiting until his term expires in December, Turner said.
DeGroft has withdrawn his candidacy for the School Board in November, but refuses to resign, as does Bailey, who has two years remaining in his term. Already, a Carrollton pastor has announced his plans to run for Bailey’s seat.
Two others have qualified as candidates for the Hardy District School Board seat. Puglisi’s group plans to meet again this Saturday to see where they are, he said.
Turner said they plan to present their petitions to Isle of Wight NAACP President Dottie Harris on June 24.
The petitions accuse Bailey and DeGroft of incompetence and misuse of their offices. If enough signatures are collected, the petitions must go to a circuit court judge for a decision.
The judge must then decide whether to remove an elected official for a number of reasons, including neglect of duty, misuse of office, incompetence, conviction of a misdemeanor and drug-related offenses or a “hate crime” conviction, if that interferes with the individual’s conduct in office, according to state code. ...(Subscribe!)