Loveland group takes first step to oust city's mayor

Updated: Jul. 21, 2017 at 4:16 PM EDT
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LOVELAND, OH (FOX 19) - More than 2,000 people have signed a petition in an effort to oust the mayor of Loveland.

Representatives from Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC delivered the petitions to the Hamilton County Board of Elections Friday. The group says "public outcry" in the Loveland community has been growing over Mark Fitzgerald's conduct as mayor.

"There was some misinformation to the public when he ran for re-election in 2015," said Halie Rebeccaschild with Loveland Community Heartbeat PAC. "The residents of Loveland deserve to vote based on all the information, and clear and honest information, and for that reason, a recall is warranted."

Fitzgerald claims that when the group went door-to-door in Loveland to collect signatures for the petition, they told residents they were signing a petition "to put me on the ballot."

In a statement to FOX19 NOW, Fitzgerald said the PAC misrepresented facts. He also said he's proud of his record as Loveland's mayor.

A BOE spokesperson said it would take about a week to verify the signatures and if there's enough, a recall election would be held in November and Fitzgerald would be asked to resign within five days.

Fitzgerald has been on Loveland city council since 2007. On a rotating basis, members of the council appointed him mayor in December 2015.

"We simply cannot let this abuse of power happen again," said Rebeccaschild in a statement. "Walking every neighborhood in Loveland to collect signatures, we have seen firsthand not only the level of distrust and disappointment throughout the community but also the high level of awareness and engagement among Loveland residents," she said.

Group of Loveland residents calling for mayor's resignation

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