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Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross vows to fight recall effort

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Christopher DeVargas

Las Vegas Councilman and Mayoral candidate Steve Ross Thurs. March 10th, 2011

Embattled Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross says he plans to "vigorously" fight efforts being made to recall him from office.

“Several months ago, I learned of an attempt to stop my efforts to create jobs and get our economy moving again in the City of Las Vegas," Ross said in a statement sent out late Wednesday afternoon by Ross' campaign manager, Steve Redlinger.

"I have received dozens of calls and affidavits from residents in the ward detailing the lies and innuendo that the Committee to Recall has been spreading about me to gain the signatures of residents," Ross said in the statement.

"Needless to say I will fight this effort," said Ross, whose statement asserts the recall operation is being run by lobbyist Lisa Mayo DeRiso and financed by used car dealer Joe Scala.

Redlinger said he has been told that those seeking to recall Ross went to the city clerk's office late this afternoon to present enough signatures — about 1,085 — to force a recall election.

The group, which has a website at tossross.com, has made claims that it has enough signatures to force a recall election for Ross, who won a four-year term to represent Ward 6 in 2009 with 54.8 percent of the vote against challenger attorney Jennifer Taylor.

Mayo-DeRiso, a lobbyist and prominent northwest community activist has clashed with Ross since he was first elected in 2005.

Mayo-DeRiso has attacked him on whether a locals casino should be placed in the ward and whether other developments were pushed through with sufficient attention.

Scala and Ross have been feuding for some time about the closing of one of Scala's auto dealerships. Scala helped to finance an ad against Ross in the spring when Ross was running for mayor.

Redlinger said although the group was expected to have turned in its signatures this afternoon, they will need to be verified by the Nevada secretary of state.

Although the bar is low for forcing the recall, Redlinger said that Ross' campaign will challenge about 100 of the signatures, which are from people who said they want their names removed from the recall petition. The verification process would take a couple of weeks, he said.

If a recall election were to be held, it would probably be in October or November, he said.

"We are confident they will not have enough signatures," Redlinger said.

Redlinger, who called the move to recall Ross "ugly," said a special election could cost the taxpayers $75,000 to $100,000.

That's unfortunate, because Ross, if he wins the recall, would be back again before voters within 18 months of that election, Redlinger said.

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