‘Recall Sheriff Jerry Hatcher’ group turns in signatures

Recall Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher Petitions With Signatures

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A group pushing to recall Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher delivered boxes full of signed petitions to the county auditor on Friday.

Last fall, the Washington Supreme Court ruled there is enough evidence to move forward with a recall.

RELATED: Benton Co. Sheriff Hatcher and lawyer respond to state supreme court decision

RELATED: Benton Co. requests criminal investigation into Sheriff Hatcher

The group will need to have gathered and submitted nearly 14,000 valid signatures on recall petitions in order to put the issue on a Benton County ballot. The group claims it turned in more than enough on Friday.

“I’ve talked and visited with several deputies and the stories they tell me describe the character of a man I do not want to be a leader in my community,” said Sabrina Nelson. “This is my hometown. I have high expectations of our elected officials here.”

Sheriff Hatcher is accused of stealing more than a dozen cases of ammunition from the county and then interfering in the investigation against him. Hatcher’s lawyer says the sheriff hasn’t had a chance to defend himself against the accusations like he would if this went to court.

RELATED: Benton County sergeant files petition to recall Sheriff Hatcher

RELATED: Benton County commander quits, citing Hatcher ‘consumed with hostility, anger and lies’

The sheriff told KAPP-KVEW last fall he has no plans to step down.

“I’m not gonna allow somebody to come in with unsubstantiated charges, and push us out, if we allow that we will never have constitutionally based sheriffs that will stand up for the rights of the people and for the rights of the employees,” Hatcher explained in November.

The county auditor will go through the signatures dropped off Friday and determine whether they reach the threshold to trigger a special election for the recall — and make sure they’re all legitimate. That process is expected to take more than a week.

Before the recall: 2019 Hatcher Headlines

OCT. 8: Benton County sheriff accused of strangling his wife

OCT. 9: Spokane Co. prosecutor handling Sheriff Hatcher’s domestic violence case

OCT. 10: Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher charged with domestic assault

OCT. 11: Union calls for Sheriff Jerry Hatcher to resign

OCT. 11: Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher refuses to step down

OCT. 11: Sheriff Hatcher stepping away from daily operations

OCT. 15: Benton Co. Sheriff Jerry Hatcher appears in court amid domestic violence accusations

OCT. 16: Female county employees file complaint against Sheriff Hatcher; his lawyer responds

OCT. 17: Charges dropped against Sheriff Jerry Hatcher

OCT. 17: Criminal charges against Sheriff Jerry Hatcher have been dismissed, attorney says

OCT. 23: Sheriff Jerry Hatcher reacts to jail shift from the sheriff’s office to commissioners