SPOKANE, Wash. — A petition to recall Spokane Regional Health District Administrator Amelia Clark has thousands of signatures after supporters of Dr. Bob Lutz gathered outside the health district on Sunday.
The Charge.org petition has gained over 3,000 signatures as of Monday morning. It was created on Saturday evening.
Last Thursday, Clark asked Lutz for his resignation due to "performance issues," according to a statement from SRHD. Dr. Lutz later released a statement saying he doesn't intend to resign and has hired a lawyer.
Several of the protesters who attended Sunday believe Lutz is the key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus in Spokane County. Others feared the county will try to reopen too quickly if Lutz is terminated.
"I want to go back to school, but I want to do it the right way without sacrificing any lives," explained high school sophomore Nora Henning. "Bob Lutz is the way to do that. He’s the one here fighting for us."
The event's Facebook page shows that 170 people went and over 900 were interested in going. The protest was organized by a former SRHD employee, Chandra Richardson.
"Let the city, county, and state know that Dr. Lutz is a vital part of our community and we won't tolerate any type of political antics to have him removed," the description reads. "This, [sic] to inform the Board of Health and the City Council that Dr. Lutz's forced resignation is not acceptable to the community in which he serves."
Protesters also gathered outside the health district Friday when the news broke.
Health and political leaders around the Spokane area have also spoke out in support of Lutz, including several city council members, the Washington State University College of Health and Sciences and the The Washington State University College of Health and Sciences.
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Dr. Lutz released a statement Saturday saying he has not resigned and has hired a lawyer to pursue "all available legal remedies should the SRHD’s Board decide to terminate my employment."
SRHD released a statement Saturday night saying that the health district "acknowledges that this is difficult timing for such a transition," and that Clark "would not have sought the employment separation of Dr. Lutz during the COVID-19 pandemic if other viable options were available."
The Health District previously said the Health Board had already voted to approve Clark's request that Dr. Lutz is terminated if he doesn't resign, but later said no vote was actually held.
There will be a public meeting where the Health Board will vote on whether to terminate Dr. Lutz as health officer, but a date has not been set yet, according to a statement from SRHD.