Jackson Recall Moving Forward After Intervention From Secretary Of State

Mar 10, 2017

The state Board of Elections is expected to schedule a recall election of Providence City Councilman Kevin Jackson when the board meets Monday.  This comes after Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea called on the board to take action.  

Generally, the City Council would schedule the recall election. But after the council refused to convene an emergency meeting to schedule the election – risking missing an important deadline - Gorbea intervened Thursday.

The effort to recall Jackson began last year, after a grand jury indicted him on corruption charges. However, the process of scheduling a recall election adheres to a strict timeframe laid out in city charter.

Gorbea penned a letter to the State Board of Elections citing a Rhode Island General Law that requires her department be notified of a recall 50 days before it happens. Based on a Providence House Charter Law, the recall has to be scheduled for May 2 at the latest, making Monday the latest a recall election could be put on the calendar.

In her letter to the Board of Elections, Gorbea said if Providence City Council failed to schedule an emergency meeting, then the board would need to step in put it on the calendar.

“The people of Providence’s Third Ward deserve the opportunity to determine this matter through a transparent and timely electoral process,” wrote Gorbea.

Update: In light of Gorbea’s letter, five Providence City Council members have called for a special meeting Monday.

Under Providence Home Rule Charter, five members are allowed to call a special meeting if they submit a written petition to the City Clerk.

The Board of Canvassers has also scheduled a meeting Monday. The agenda for the meeting includes: certifying “the list of questions to be voted on in Providence’s 3rd Ward Recall Election.”