(Update: New vote tally)
Metolius voters decided in ballots counted Tuesday night to recall Mayor John Chavez over his two recent arrests and legal problems that city councilors and residents were unaware of.
There were 124 votes in favor of the recall in ballots counted Tuesday night, to 73 no votes. The ballot returns represent about 35% of the 565 voters in the Jefferson County city of nearly 800 residents.
The recall effort began in response to allegations that Chavez concealed pending criminal charges from a 2018 assault case and a 2019 arrest for drunken driving. Petitioners handed in 45 valid signatures on August 19, two more than needed.
Back in August, city councilors adopted a resolution admonishing Chavez and requesting his resignation, noting his April guilty plea to fourth-degree assault and failure to complete a 10-day jail term, leading to a probation violation charge, as well as his DUII and reckless driving arrest in March, to which he pleaded guilty.
They noted Chavez drove a city vehicle in the Fourth of July Parade, in violation of his DUII diversion agreement.
Councilors said Chavez did not inform the city’s legal counsel of his actions, which “have brought embarrassment to the city of Metolius, its citizens and the city council.”
Chavez, 54, offered an apology to city residents in a letter accompanying the ballot question, saying he “made some personal mistakes and made choices that were unfit and wrong. I am determined to make things right with the court and adhere to all the court orders.”
A hearing on his diversion revocation is scheduled for Oct. 31, court records show.