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OID Recall Election Authorized To Proceed
Linda Santos

Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan announced on Wednesday, Dec. 14 that OID Director Linda Santos will face a special recall election tentatively slated for April 25.

In a release, Lundrigan said her office completed the verification process for the petition signatures filed for the recall and the results have been provided to the Oakdale Irrigation District Board of Directors.

“The petition filed in the office of the County Registrar of Voters on Nov. 10, 2016 contains 660 signatures,” Lundrigan said. “Each signature was verified against the voter registration database. 628 of the signatures were found to be sufficient.”

According to Lundrigan, the required number of 421 sufficient signatures was needed to move forward with the recall election.

Santos became the focus of a recall after some in her district felt Santos put the interests of her friends, campaign contributors and special interests outside of OID boundaries ahead of the district she represents.

In May, Santos and OID Director Gail Altieri provided sworn declarations to a plaintiff’s attorney in a lawsuit against OID. As a result, three OID board members moved to have the women barred from closed session meetings surrounding the lawsuit. They also cited a conflict of interest for Santos since she leases farmland to one of the lawsuit complainants, Robert Frobose.

A Stanislaus Court judge later ruled in October that there were insufficient grounds to impose the preliminary injunction sought by OID.

In August, Deanne Dalrymple served Santos with the recall papers during the public comment portion of an OID meeting.

After the meeting, Santos posted to her Facebook page the addresses and telephone numbers of the original 13 that had signed the petition for the recall process with the notation, “Stop the lies. Ask me why these people are so afraid of me being on the Oakdale Irrigation Board. Or better yet, ask them why they are accusing me of these lies. Here’s who they are and how to contact them.”

Last month Frobose stated he had hired a private investigator to look into the recall petition drive. Frobose claimed people asking for signatures lied about the subject of the petition, stating the petition’s purpose was to halt water sales to Southern California.

“Robert Frobose is not the one being recalled, Linda Santos is,” Dalrymple said on Wednesday. “The louder his out-of-control rants are at meetings, the more I question what the real connection is there. He has no vote in this district. He has a right to an opinion, but not a vote.”

Dalrymple said she was looking forward to the recall election.

“We had 628 signatures verified as good by the county, so it’s time to move on,” Dalrymple said. “There are much more important water issues that we need to address, especially with the upcoming State Water Board meetings.”

According to the registrar of voter’s office, a candidate nomination period will precede the election and enable voters to select a replacement director in the event the recall is approved by OID Division 4 voters.

Since the recall election does not coincide with a regular election day, the approximate cost of the special election will range from range from $16,750 to $20,450.

Lundrigan said her office would run the election, but it was up to OID to set the actual election date