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Brighton volunteers collect signatures needed to recall mayor

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BRIGHTON, Colo. -- For the first time in the city of Brighton's history, citizens have collected enough signatures to recall the mayor.

Recall volunteers confirm with FOX31 they have the minimum 1,136 signatures needed after just one week. They intend to continue collecting more.

The petitioning comes after City Council moved to fire City Manager Philip Rodriguez last week, citing a personnel issue. Critics believe Rodriguez was let go because he uncovered $70 million in unused water money last fall, collected by overcharging taxpayers’ water bills. Some blame Mayor Ken Kreutzer and members of council for trying to cover it up.

“The business of Brighton will continue, and the business of getting to the bottom of the water situation will continue,” said Kreutzer in an interview with FOX31 last week ahead of the vote.

Tuesday night, City Council moved to vote on a request for proposal Aug. 6 for which firm would conduct a forensic audit of the city’s water finances since 2008. Council had the choice between pursing a longer request for proposal process and selecting Better Call Lausten & Schwartz, which was the recommended option from Interim Finance Director Maria Ostrom, who was hired by Rodriguez.

Kreutzer said even though the RFP process is longer, it would be more in the public's interest, and pushed for it.

“I want whatever audit it takes for us to be able to go out and answer to the citizens: A) the money is there, B) The projects are there, and where are we going to go from here?” Kreutzer said.

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