I am writing this “Letter to the Editor” in an effort to clarify answers to questions that have been asked regarding the recall process taking place against Cindy Woodman, Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court.
Reasons for the Recall:
After her first few months of serving as the Clerk of the Superior Court, Graham County was forced to spend resources to conduct an investigation into the numerous allegations of a toxic and hostile work environment from not only Ms Woodman’s staff but other county employees and the public. This toxic work environment resulted in seven employees, out of a staff of nine, quitting in Woodman’s first seven months of service. This problem was not resolved and was only exacerbated by Ms Woodman filing complaints against those individuals.
This conduct continued and it, coupled with Woodman’s lack of knowledge of court procedures and lack of leadership abilities, compounded the issues that Presiding Judge Michael D Peterson was confronted with on a daily basis, some of which are listed here: her mishandling evidence and exhibits; attorneys requesting an investigation into possible perjury charges being filed against her; the ongoing fielding of employee complaints; delays in court proceedings because of the unprecedented amount of employee turnover and incomplete court files; harassment of an excused juror; and her continued inability after nine months to provide customer service resulting in her turning away customers and/or their payments.
All of these issues caused Presiding Judge Peterson to author a nine page letter to the Supreme Court listing the problems and conflicts that have arisen under Ms Woodman’s reign. After Ms Woodman was given a chance to respond to the letter, Supreme Court Justice Robert Brutinel met with her and issued an Administrative Order giving control of the Clerk’s Office to Judge Peterson. The Order not only relieved Ms Woodman of her administrative and supervisory duties but banned her from returning to the courthouse.
It was rumored that Ms Woodman was expected to resign but as of this writing she has not resigned and continues to be the Graham County Clerk of Superior Court, and the County, through the use of your tax dollars, continues to pay her annual salary of $63,800 which approximates to $110,000 after adding the county employee related expenses.
At the present time, the only way an elected official can be removed from office, if they choose not to resign, is by the recall process or impeachment.
The Recall Process:
An Application for Recall was filed with the Graham County Elections Director on September 3rd and the Recall Committee needs to obtain 2,697 signatures from Graham County registered voters by January 1, 2020 for the recall election to take place. Upon filing these signatures with the Elections Director, Ms Woodman will be given an opportunity to resign and if she chooses not to, then a recall election will be called for by the Graham County Board of Supervisors. At that time anyone wishing to run for the position will be given a chance to turn in their nomination papers with the required amount of signatures. Ms Woodman’s name will automatically appear on the recall election ballot.
As Chairman of the Recall Committee, I strongly urge you to contact me or any of the numerous concerned recall committee members to sign a petition so that we can get the necessary signatures we need and file them as soon as possible to help expedite this process. It doesn’t matter what political party you are, anyone that is registered to vote in Graham County can sign a petition or even assist with the circulation of them. My phone number is 928-792-7477 or I can be reached via Facebook Messenger. I would be happy to guide you to a person near you to get your signature.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any support you are able to give!
Recall Committee Chairman