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Monday, November 20, 2006

Newton fires elections chief

The city of Newton fired its elections chief on Monday, according to mayoral spokesman Jeremy Solomon. That was the deadline Mayor David B. Cohen gave Peter Karg to resign or face termination.

Karg’s removal stems from a miscount of signatures on a petition drive to overturn the aldermen's approval of a site plan for a new Newton North High School.

The Election Department, under Karg’s direction, initially said that not enough names were collected. Karg released a statement saying he had been “pressured” to tabulate the results of the campaign in three days instead of the allowed 10.

Now some aldermen are pressing for an investigation into what happened. The board’s Programs and Services Committee is scheduled on Dec. 6 to decide whether to undertake the probe and how.

Marcia Johnson, committee chairman and alderman at large from Ward 2, said in an email message that she would prefer an outside investigation “to diminish the politics of it” but had not yet secured funding for it.

-- Connie Paige

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