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Court rules recall effort against Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can proceed

A King County Superior Court judge ruled that 4 of 6 charges filed to recall Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can move forward.

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that a recall effort of Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant can move forward.  

Judge Jim Rogers ruled that 4 of 6 charges filed in the recall petition were sufficient enough to proceed.  

The petition accuses Sawant of violating her role as a council member during the height of Seattle protests. Recall organizers allege a series of violations, including that Sawant used her passkey to City Hall, allowing protesters into the building, and that she appeared at a protest outside Mayor Jenny Durkan's Seattle home.

Rogers made the ruling during a virtual hearing on Wednesday with the city prosecutor and Sawant's defense attorney. 

Organizers would still need to collect 10,000 signatures from Sawant's District 3 constituents in order to get the recall on the ballot.

A group of Sawant supporters held a virtual rally before the court ruling. They say the recall effort is an attack against Seattle's working class.

Read the ruling here

RELATED: Seattle man claims he was fired for launching recall effort against Councilmember Kshama Sawant

A Seattle man claimed he was fired for launching a recall effort against Sawant.

Ernie Lou said was "crushed" after he was fired from his contractor job with Three Dollar Bill Cinema after putting together a website and raising money for a Sawant recall effort earlier this month. 

"She is the leftist version of the right-wing version of Trump," he said. "She's a cancer in Seattle."

Lou said he was fed up after recent demonstrations, which included a sit-in at City Hall and march to the home of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.  

Those are just two of six charges he levels against the sitting council member in his long-shot effort to recall her.

"She was leading the protesters. She was egging them on. That's not her role," he said.

Lou said the effort has raised $30,000, although the city's Public Disclosure Commission shows no donations have been reported. 

He is asking for donations for less than $25, which he said is to make sure there is a grassroots effort to unseat Sawant. However, Seattle Municipal Code also allows for those types of donations to be made without the sender having to provide a name, address, employer, or typical reporting procedures.

Not long after Lou started the website, he said he was told that his services were no longer needed at Three Dollar Bill Cinema and it was all related to his recall push.

However, the organization disputed the claim on Tuesday, with a statement that read in part: 

"Three Dollar Bill Cinema (TDBC) is saddened that an inaccurate media story is being played out in news outlets and on social media about Ernie Lou’s departure from TDBC. This inaccuracy is causing distress to people within our community and also our small non-profit organization. Mr. Lou — a longtime volunteer to TDBC and valued member of our community — was hired as a short-term contractor to help us fundraise during these challenging times due to COVID-19. While we can’t speak publicly about the specifics of employment matters, we want to clarify that Mr. Lou’s departure is not connected to the recall Kshama Sawant initiative."