Mayor Cy Sun of Pacific and his attorney have had a busy week.
A judge was set to decide Wednesday whether allegations of the campaign to oust Sun – including that he has retaliated against city employees, destroyed public records and jeopardized the city’s insurance coverage – are grounds for a recall.
Instead, the judge’s decision has been delayed until at least Oct. 9, frustrating Sun’s opponents. They hope to save the city’s insurance by holding a special election by the end of the year aimed at recalling Sun. However, factoring in the delay, they will face having to collect about 400 signatures in four days if the judge eventually rules in their favor.
The insurance provider needs to see a more “stable and professional environment,” in Pacific to restore coverage, the committee says.
The mayor declined to comment Wednesday.
Sun’s attorney, Tyler Firkins, asked for more time Wednesday to review the case, saying he’d learned only Friday that he’d be representing the mayor. That wasn’t long enough to thoroughly review the roughly 250-page statement of charges submitted by the committee, Firkins said.
Sun was served with those papers Aug. 27, said Jeff Helsdon, the attorney for the recall campaign.
King County Superior Court Judge Laura Inveen granted a continuance Wednesday, saying she herself could use more time to thoroughly review the filings from both sides.
It’s not clear why the mayor didn’t tell his attorney about the charges. Firkins said in court that he learned about the hearing Friday from a third party.
He told the judge it’s possible the mayor assumed Firkins would be representing him in the proceedings because he’s Sun’s attorney for a separate legal battle involving Pacific.
That case was heard in Pierce County on Tuesday, when a judge ordered Sun to fill the city’s vacant or temporarily filled positions – something the city attorney formally requested.
Those cases haven’t been Sun’s only challenges during his nine-month tenure.
In addition to the recall campaign and pending insurance cancellation, he was arrested trying to enter the city clerk’s office in July.
The recall group says it hopes to change the insurance providers decision by taking steps toward stabilizing the situation in Pacific.
“The game’s not over till it’s over,” Helsdon said.
The committee already is cutting it close to meet its goal of a special election before the end of the year, but Helsdon says it’s still possible.
Chairman Don Thomson of the recall committee said Wednesday that the delay is frustrating, but that getting the signatures won’t be a problem.
However, even if the committee is allowed to collect signatures, Sun could appeal. That would further delay the process.
Judge Inveen noted in court Wednesday that Sun has said publicly that he welcomes a special election, but the recall committee said he posted on his personal blog Tuesday that he plans to appeal.
The post since has been removed, they said, but a copy saved and provided to The News Tribune by the committee cites Sun as posting: “I plan to Appeal the Recall! It is NOW a matter of HONOR! … Now I am going to fight you all the way to the Supreme Court.”
In the post, Sun says he changed his decision because the recall committee claimed he lied about attending a reunion of his Korean War unit this month.
Sun asked that the recall hearing be moved to after the reunion, Thomson said.
“Two weeks ago we were scheduled to go, and he requested he was going to be out of town going to a reunion,” Thomson said. “We don’t know where he went.”
The committee did not question Sun’s attendance of the reunion in court Wednesday, and the post is not currently on www.mayorcysun.blogspot.com.
Pacific has about 6,500 residents and lies east of Interstate 5 on the King-Pierce County line.