ROGUE RIVER — Organizers of a recall vote against School Board members Vince Ceriello and Richard Pardy have filed petitions with the Jackson County Clerk's Office.
Chief petitioner Caitlin Leal said in an email Tuesday that the petitions contain 734 signatures against Ceriello and 732 against Pardy.
Valid signatures from a minimum of 609 registered voters are required to put each of the men on the ballot, but it's common to gather extras as a hedge against disqualified signers.
If enough signatures prove legitimate, Ceriello and Pardy will have five days to resign or formally explain why they shouldn't be removed. If they don't quit, the election must follow within 35 days.
Allegations against both men include:
- Trying to manipulate board votes.
- Conducting school business outside public meetings.
- Directing staff to act without board approval.
- Cutting off patrons with denigrating messages.
Ceriello is further charged with misrepresenting the board by issuing news releases and stories without approval by the full board. Pardy is accused of making it his mission to close Evans Valley Elementary School since he took office.
Pardy questioned Tuesday whether the petitions contained enough valid signatures and said he would not consider resigning until they're verified.
Ceriello could not be reached for comment. In February, he sent an email to then-board member Howard Wand, urging him to help "make sure he (Pardy) is on board" to stop Julie Niles-Fry or other opponents from speaking at a Feb. 8 meeting.
Ceriello inadvertently sent the email to Niles-Fry, but has maintained ever since that the message was misinterpreted and he did nothing illegal.
Leal said in another email that about 12 volunteers collected signatures for the petitions. "It went quickly and easily," she added. "Abuse of power and lack of integrity are not qualities that people want in their leaders.
"Yes, we will continue to keep the public informed prior to the special election."
Reach Daily Courier reporter Howard Huntington at 541-474-3726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.