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State law gives 2 ways that leader can be removed from office

There are only two ways a local elected official, such as a county supervisor, can be removed from office: by voter-initiated recall or by felony conviction.

Recall "is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire," the California Secretary of State's office says.

"It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives," it says.

A notice of intention, required to initiate a recall, must contain: the name and title of the official to be recalled; a statement, in 200 words or less, of the reasons for recall; and the printed name, signature, and address of each of the recall proponents.

Courts have held that a recall ballot also must give voters the choice of a replacement.

To recall Supervisor Efren Carrillo, proponents would need signatures from 20 percent of his district's 47,551 registered voters, or about 9,510 signatures.

Recall proponents, who must be registered voters in the official's district, typically hire signature gatherers at a cost of $2 to $3 per signature.

California Government Code Section 1770 says that a political office "becomes vacant" for a variety of reasons, including the official's "conviction of a felony or of any offense involving a violation of his or her official duties."

The removal is automatic, and the governor appoints a successor.

The disqualification from holding office upon conviction is not stayed by either the filing of an appeal or success in the appeal process.


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