Ron Thomas, father of Kelly Thomas, 37, asks the Fullerton City Council on Tuesday Aug. 2, 2011 to answer questions about the death of his son. (AP Photo/Leonard Ortiz - Orange County Register)
Three Fullerton City Council members face recall on Tuesday in a campaign sparked from a high-profile fatal police beating of a homeless man last summer.
Thirteen candidates are running to replace Dick Jones, Pat McKinley and Don Bankhead.
Recall supporters have accused the councilmen of failing to lead the city and downplaying the beating death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police officers.
They criticize the councilmen for failing to immediately remove from duty the officers involved in the July 5, 2011 beating that was captured on a bus depot surveillance video and for which two officers face trial on felony charges.
The councilmen say the recall is an effort to undo the election results from November.
They accuse the recall effort’s leader, Tony Bushala, a millionaire developer and blogger, of using the election to stack the deck with city council candidates who support him.
“This recall is his latest attempt to fleece Fullerton’s taxpayers,” the councilmen wrote in separate letters in response to the recall. “Recall proponents are using the tragic death of a homeless man to advance their agenda of fear and intimidation.”
Bushala, who spent $200,000 to bankroll the recall, said the councilmen are blaming the messenger.
“Unfortunately, the message is loud and clear," he said. "The voters are going to have a chance to decide at the polls tomorrow whether those three are good leaders or bad leaders.”