YUMA, Ariz. – Concerned community member Robert Johnson accuses Yuma City Council member Cody Beeson of collecting invalid signatures for his petition to run for a third term for council. “Just putting it out there I was unsure about running for a third term, however when I started collecting signatures, the people that signed were reassuring for me,” said Beeson.
It was said in court, 242 signatures are required from registered City of Yuma voters. But after his own research with the Yuma County Recorder’s Office, Johnson claims 27 were rejected and 10 in question. That would not add up to be enough, and if proven, would make Beeson ineligible for office. “Well he has certainly put in a lot of time and effort into researching the allegation I think once we hear from the court later today we’ll know for sure. But he has certainly put in more time than any normal person would do,” said Beeson.
County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pickett was brought to the stand. She acknowledged several names on the petition she was unable to verify for various reasons. Using voter registration software she found signatures, addresses and names that did not match and rejected. Johnson said, “He waited till the last possible minute, and when you do that you make mistakes you don’t do a good job. And in court today they admitted he does not have enough valid signatures.”
Beeson’s defense attorney rebutted the plaintiff Johnson didn’t serve Beeson within a 24-hour rule for the case. If the case is ruled against Beeson there will only be three known candidates left to run for Yuma City Council. Beeson said, “Right now there’s three candidates plus myself, for three seats, if I didn’t run, it would be three candidates into three seats. Would there be an election?”
Johnson says he just wants to see someone he deems worthy to run the city. “And Mr. Beeson has the worst attendance of any council member, he doesn’t go to meetings. Well I want someone who participates in government if he’s going to be an elected official,” said Johnson.
A verdict could be reached Tuesday.