The two-day testimony for San Miguel resident Darcia Stebbens concluded Monday evening. Darcia requested a recount for the district 2 race back in December, and was held responsible for reimbursing the county for the cost of the recount. Darcia initially paid a majority of the 53 thousand dollar bill, but has objected to the remaining 4 thousand dollars in court. Stebbens told commissioner Leslie Kraut that she should not be responsible for the county printing over a thousand pages of its recount guidelines because she didn’t ask the county to create it. She also said she shouldn’t pay the county counsel’s office for the hours worked, saying “to me that is their normal course of business.” And finally, Stebbens argued that she should not have to pay for the benefits packages of recount staff.
Leslie Kraut and clerk-recorder Elaina Cano, who sued Stebbens in the small claims court, stated that California code of regulations requires the county to provide copies of recount regulations, and all costs that would not have been incurred were it not for a recount request, must be reimbursed by the requestor. Kraut also said that Stebbens was the ‘employer’ for recount staff that day, with Cano also saying the county considers the “actual costs” for staff time to include both hourly wages and benefits.
Commissioner Leslie Kraut will determine who should cover the remaining cost of the recount.