STILLWATER — A petition demanding the recall of Stillwater’s mayor will be allowed to move forward, a city clerk said Monday. The 107 signatures on the initial petition submitted Friday were deemed valid by the Payne County Election Board, which allows the recall process for Mayor Nathan Bates, 27, to proceed.
The recall petition will be drafted after Bates submits a written response or a 10-day time limit expires, City Clerk Marcy Alexander said. In order for the election to take place, the number of residents who sign the petition will need to equal 25 percent of those who voted in the last general election, or about 600 people. Bates, a student at Oklahoma State University, denied the allegations, which include interfering with police business, using his place in office to solicit free goods and services and asking a woman at Lake Carl Blackwell to expose her breasts. In a response released on his Web site Sunday, Bates said he asked the city council and manager for an office and a computer and if the city provided cell phone reimbursement and health insurance. He said he received compensation for dinner with the council and for travel for city-related business. Bates also denied the allegations that he interfered with police business. He said he asked an officer to move a cruiser that was blocking the view on a four-way street and anyone would have that right. Bates said the Lake Carl Blackwell incident was a false claim and that the officer said the reporting party smelled of alcohol and he left the scene without further incident. A disorderly conduct report from the incident stated that nothing criminal had happened. Bates also said he has never been cited for public intoxication in the city or county, addressing a fourth allegation.