Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta


Judge Jon Oldenburg ruled on Thursday that an injunction to halt the recall election of Pondera County Sheriff Carl Suta is valid.

Suta filed the injunction last month, and it was granted several days later.

The court ruling on Thursday means that the petition that was filed to initiate the recall is legally insufficient.

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The injunction claims that the recall petition is “substantially out of compliance” with the requirements for such a petition.

The injunction states that the reasons for the recall are “insufficiently specific” as to the reason of the recall, citing “incompetence,” and the material allegations are false. The injunction states that the allegations do not contain dates, times, or names of specific instances of said incompetence, and the judge agreed that there are no concrete examples on which to base the allegations.

The injunction also alleges that the originator of the recall petition, Stacy Welker, does not have personal knowledge of the allegations contained in the statement, and says that it will be “misleading to voters who will rely upon said allegations.”

The injunction also says that Montana Code limits the explanation of a recall effort to 200 words, and  that the petition in this case is 251 words.

Stacy Welker, who filed the recall petition, tells MTN News that she does not plan to file another petition.