Washington Supreme Court OKs efforts to remove 2 officials

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has approved efforts to remove two local officials from office.

In separate unanimous decisions Thursday, the justices OK’d efforts to recall first-term Yakima County Clerk Janelle Riddle and Black Diamond City Councilwoman Patricia Pepper. Each had appealed lower court rulings allowing the recall petitions to proceed.

Riddle is accused of failing to make sure child support and restraining orders were transferred to the appropriate outside agencies. She blamed the problem on the adoption of new case management software, but the justices noted that other counties didn’t have so much trouble switching to the new system.

She’s also accused of refusing to have her deputy clerks work in courtrooms to electronically record hearings, as required by court rules, and of threatening to shut down her office over the dispute.

Pepper is accused of convening closed-door meetings in violation of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act, among other charges.