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Local lawyer and former candidate for Clerk-Recorder Barry Pruett filed a petition for a writ of mandate hearing against Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Greg Diaz yesterday. The matter was heard in court this morning and dismissed after Pruett withdrew the petition to avoid having it denied by the Court.
Pruett alleged candidate Natalie Adona, the current Assistant Clerk-Recorder and candidate to succeed Diaz, did not pay the required filing fee, because the line item didn’t appear on her campaign committee finance filing (Form 460.)
When asked by YubaNet about the filing fees, Adona stated,
“I paid for my filing fee and candidate statement using personal funds, as is permissible under the law.”
In court, Nevada County’s attorneys provided proof Adona paid her filing fee. Pruett was given the option by the judge to withdraw his petition or to have it denied. He withdrew the petition, the court dismissed the case.
Pruett’s petition asked the Court to prevent the Elections Office from counting any votes cast for Natalie Adona in the upcoming election. The petition also requested the Court award attorney’s fees and costs to the petitioner (Pruett), order the Elections Office to preserve all the documents related to the petition in any way and finally any other relief the Court would see fit.
Reached for comment, Pruett stated:
This writ proceeding was a continuation of the struggle that our local Nevada County citizens are having with biased and partial election officials and their complete lack of transparency and lack of customer service. On Tuesday, I simply requested the election officials to provide proof of Adona’s payment of filing fees as required by law, and they flatly refused. Because the election officials could stall 10 days and until after the election, I had no other legal option to receive the public information aside from filing the writ of mandate which, as we saw in 2020, must be filed before an election. It would have been much easier for everyone if the adversarial election officials straightforwardly provided the public information to me without a court order. The failures of these current election officials highlight the reasons why this community needs new election officials dedicated to this quaint community and dedicated to providing good customer service to our local Nevada County citizens.
According to the court document filed by Pruett, “On June 1, 2022, and in person and pursuant to the California Public Records Act, Petitioner requested documents from the Registrar of Voters which indicate that the Assistant Registrar of Voters actually paid the required fees by March 11, 2022, as required by the election code.” June 1, 2022 was Wednesday, not Tuesday.
Editor’s note: We requested the relevant documentation presented in court by Nevada County and will append it to this developing story once we receive it.
June 3, 2022 at 3:16 PM update
Nevada County sent over the requested proof of payment and included a declaration by the Treasurer-Tax Collector.