BRIGHTON, Colo. — Volunteers now have 60 days to gather signatures in an effort to recall the mayor of Brighton.

Brighton City Councilmember Matt Johnston said the recall petition for Mayor Ken Kreutzer was approved on Monday and supporters of the effort are holding a rally ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

This is significant, because the City Council could decide to fire City Manager Philip Rodriguez during that same meeting. Rodriguez was placed on administrative leave and Johnston claims it’s because he uncovered $70 million in overcharges for city water.

The recall petition alleges that Kreutzer was aware of the overcharging but only agreed to an “independent forensic audit under extreme public pressure.”

The petition also accuses Kreutzer of not addressing charges that a councilmember unlawfully tried to get a job in the city government.

PREVIOUS STORY: Brighton City Manager placed on administrative leave

It also mentions Rodriguez, alleging that the mayor suspended the city manager without “any reason for action” seven days after he blew the whistle on the “two separate city scandals.”

“Terminating Mr. Rodriguez without cause will cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance pay, and potential litigation,” the petition reads.

Johnston said the effort needs 1,150 signatures but volunteers are aiming for 2,000. The goal is to have the petition handed in long before the 60 day deadline – and it could be as soon as two weeks.

During last week’s city council meeting, Kreutzer insisted he and others had simply lost faith in Rodriguez’s leadership, leading to his suspension.

“I have come to the conclusion that I do not have faith or confidence in the management of the city of Brighton by Mr. Rodriguez,” he said.“The basis of my decision stems with a personnel issue, as I started the meeting with. It’s personnel in nature and I’m not going to make remarks concerning personnel issues. I can and will tell you in my own words what is not the reason, and that is the situation concerning the utilities fund and the impending forensics audit.”

Johnston said if the mayor is recalled, his group will go after other City Council members if they vote to fire Rodriguez.

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