Hearne Ordered To Hold Recall Election For Council Member By State Court

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HEARNE, Texas A recall election will be held in Hearne to let voters decide whether to remove a city council woman who has just three months left in her term.

And taxpayers will foot the bill for that election.

The 10th Court of Appeals in Waco ordered the recall election Monday after hundreds of residents signed a petition last summer to recall councilwoman Maxine Vaughn.

News 3 looks how much the court- ordered election will cost.

Hearne City Council Member Maxine Vaughn's time with the city may be running out.

The 10th Court of Appeals notified the city Monday they have 35 days to set a recall election.

Last July around 400 residents signed a petition to recall Vaughn.

The reasons stated in the petition include loss of confidence, being incompetent for the position and committing malfeasance during the term.

Yet for months, no one has been willing to share with News 3 any details to back up those allegations.

City Attorney Rusty Russ says he can't comment because of a lawsuit

"Mrs. Vaughn has challenged the legitimacy of the complaints as being in compliance with the charter and we don't have resolution of that yet," Russ said.

Russ says Monday's court ruling is in response to an ongoing impasse at City Hall.

Vaughn declined to speak with us when we went by her home, so did council member Hazel Washington Embra who is named in the court order for a recall election.

Embra says she was told by an attorney not to speak.

The city council is planning on having a special meeting on Friday to set the date for the recall election. The city attorney tells us that extra election could cost the city anywhere between $4,000 and $7,000.

"We're going to get a resolution of that impasse and move along with city business. I think that's a good thing," said Russ.

If Maxine Vaughn is recalled, her seat could remain vacant for the remainder of the term or the city could decide to hold a second special election to fill her position.

The Hearne City Council is meeting Tuesday at 5:30 P.M., but there was not enough time to get the recall election on the agenda, so as previously mentioned, they will set the date at a special meeting on Friday.

It's unclear if Maxine Vaughn will file to run again in May.

The filing deadline is February 27th.

Our telephone messages for Mayor Reuben Gomez were not returned as of 6 P.M. Tuesday.