Leading up to the Dec. 2 hearing, an attorney had discovered a miscalculation in the number of signatures needed on the recall petition, leaving the recall committee 140 signatures short.
Attorney Mike Green, who was acting as the election officer Tuesday and was expecting to preside over a petition hearing, instead tossed the petition out.
The petition was filed last month by Humiston-Scott and stated that the recall petition contained false statements and was signed and circulated by people who don’t live in the school district boundaries.
The proceeding lasted three minutes at Mancos Town Hall.
“It ends up the protest is being deemed moot,” Green said.
According to Green, Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Carol Tullis mistakenly told the committee it needed 212 signatures to move forward with a recall, or 40 percent of the total votes for Humiston-Scott in 2011.
After studying state statutes, Humiston-Scott attorney Bobby Duthie found that the committee needed to gather 352 signatures, based on the total number of votes cast in the school board race.
“I discovered the mistake yesterday,” Duthie said. “It needed to be 40 percent of the total votes in the last election, not the number of votes cast for her.”
In November 2011, 880 voters voted in the school board election that elected Humiston-Scott to the seat. Forty percent of that number is 352.
The Montezuma County Clerk had told the recall committee it needed 40 percent of the 531 votes cast for Humiston-Scott.
“They will have to determine how to do this now,” Duthie said. “Although this is a technical victory, the bigger picture is: Why has the Mancos School Board, its directors and the recall committee launched this personal fight against one of Mancos’ own?”
Green told recall committee members that they had three options moving forward: They could drop the recall, gather the additional signatures within 15 days, or start over.
When approached after the proceeding, members of the recall committee and their attorney said they didn’t know what they were going to do from here. They refused to comment further.
The recall effort began after a July school board meeting during which Humiston-Scott was arrested during a heated discussion about her censure. The charges were later dropped by District Attorney William Furse.
Tullis certified the recall election on Oct. 17 after verifying that the committee to recall Humiston-Scott had gathered what she considered was enough signatures. Of the 267 signatures, 220 were accepted, and 212 were required.