An attorney for three residents of the town of Montezuma has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit the town filed recently naming all its voters as respondents in a legal dispute that revolves around a botched election. “The town seems to be suing itself,” stated the motion to dismiss, filed Monday in Summit County District Court. Gunnison attorney Luke Danielson cited a number of what he believes are errors in the town’s lawsuit, including basing the suit on a repealed statute, failing to challenge an election in the allotted time and failing to name the 61 respondents who could be forced to appear before a judge.
“(Town officials) have invented a wholly new, unprecedented and completely improper means of pursuing what is clearly an election challenge,” Danielson wrote.
The town and its volunteer clerk had petitioned the court to rule on the outcome of an April 1 election — the first in the high-mountain town of around 70 residents in at least two decades. Two people ran for mayor and 10 for six board seats.
Fourteen of the voters were challenged by the town because their residency was in question. They are owners of second homes. An investigation by the district attorney’s office in Summit County found that five of them shouldn’t have voted.