More than 1,200 signatures to recall District 5 Councilwoman Pam Murray were submitted on Monday to the Metro Clerk, according to the East Nashville resident who led the recall effort.
The group looking to recall Murray, led by attorney Jamie Hollin, needed 983 signatures from registered District 5 voters in order to force a special recall election. The signatures will need to be verified and certified by the Election Commission.
If that were to occur, it would mark the first time a district Council member has faced a recall election. Constituents attempted to recall Bellevue Councilman Eric Crafton in 1997 and Brentwood Councilor Parker Toler in 2004 but were ultimately unsuccessful.
"It was a remarkable response from the community," Hollin said. "It's something that's never been accomplished before in the history of Metro government. It¹s history in the marking."
Murray could not immediately be reached for comment, but a support rally for the second-term Councilwoman was planned on her behalf by state Rep. Brenda Gilmore. The rally will take place at 6 p.m. today on the steps of the Metro Courthouse.
"Those that are familiar with East Nashville and Dickerson Road will note the progressive nature that has taken place over the last six years," Gilmore said in a press release.
Murray has been the center of attention since a television report earlier this year showed she lived most of the time in Detroit, where she works as a social worker at a methadone clinic. She also had a complaint filed against her with the state ethics commission, alleging she lied on her 2008 and 2009 ethics disclosure forms.
Additionally, Murray was at the center of a controversial rezoning issue for a former junkyard property on Cleveland Street. The property owner wanted to turn the building into an apartment unit and neighbors vocally opposed the proposal.
Eventually the zoning request was withdrawn, but not before a series of contentious community meetings, including one where District 8 Councilwoman Karen Bennett called Metro Police, alleging she was intimidated and had racial epithets yelled at her by a group surrounding Murray. No charges were filed.
The recall effort has been testy as well. Murray filed two complaints with police, saying she was harassed by constituents. One constituent said he merely tried to call Murray twice at her Detroit office.