Newport Beach Council member Peotter Served with Recall Notice

Newport Beach city council member Scott Peotter (credit, NPBIndy)

Newport Beach city council member Scott Peotter, a founding member of the Irvine Values Coalition (with current Irvine City Council member Christina Shea) which passed anti-gay legislation affecting Irvine City Employees in the late 1990s, has been served with Recall papers at last week’s City Council meeting.

Here’s the petition and a press release about the move:

Scott Peotter does not reflect the values of Newport Beach and he should be removed for the following reasons:


    1. He does not respect the law. Peotter was forced to read an apology at the city council meeting for violating the Brown Act. In 2014, he violated the campaign contribution limit twice and failed to properly report his expenditures. On more than seven occasions he violated the municipal code related to the use of the city seal and was reprimanded by his colleagues. He endorsed the use of racist Farsi language campaign signs that were not properly identified as required by law and refused to enforce the campaign contribution limit law against his ally Lee Lowrey.
    2. He supports high rise development throughout Newport Beach. He was a strong advocate of the Museum Tower project, voting to approve it twice, and was one of two councilmembers who refused to rescind the approvals after 16,000 signatures were submitted. He even proposed eliminating the height limits on Lido Island (2/9/16).
    3. He failed conduct himself in a civil manner. He has compared his colleagues to notorious killers Lyle and Erik Menendez. He has insulted community leaders such as citizens of the year Jean Watt and Nancy Skinner and called them liars. He used the city seal to advance his personal social issues agenda, endorse partisan candidates and raise campaign money for himself.
    4. He has directed tax dollars to the benefit of his campaign contributors and supporters. More than $250,000 to 800 residents with docks on public water, over $500,000 to mooring holders even though 60% are nonresidents. He supported awarding a contract to Southside Towing even though they were rated last by the Police Department. He supported the Museum Tower project lobbied by his campaign manager. More than half a million has been paid in settlement fees to his donors. 
    5. He opposed political reform, including the disclosure of the lobbying clients of his campaign manager, and real enforcement of the campaign contribution limits.
    6. He has no real job and despite his conservative rhetoric, he in enriching himself as a member of the city council, by collecting compensation from four separate public agencies. On 8/24/16 he attended a meeting of the Sanitation District board, only stayed for 27 minutes, and left before voting on any major issues. He collected $212.50 or $7.87 per minute.
    7. He was the only council member to vote against the city’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.
    8. He has proposed financially irresponsible policies such as speculating in the stock market with tax dollars, uneconomic refundings of city debt, cutting revenues while pension costs are increasing, and running our sewer system at a structural deficit.
    9. He has opposed major civic investments such as the Corona del Mar fire station and library remodel, Corona del Mar pocket park, Marina Park, West Newport Community Center, and highway beautification.
    10. He showed contempt for the residents by forcing opponents of the Museum Tower to print expensive, ten pound petitions in order to referend the project.


The Committee to Recall Scott Peotter issued this announcement:

At the April 11, 2017 Newport Beach City Council Meeting, District 6 Council Member Scott Peotter was officially served with a Notice of Recall. The notice was signed by ___ residents of Peotter’s district and sets in motion the recall process.  Mr. Peotter may respond to the Notice and then petitions can be printed and signature gathering begun.

The Notice was formally presented by District 6 resident and Harbor Commission Chairman Paul Blank. Blank said “The activist in me is now working to replace this man as our representative at the earliest opportunity.  This is not about his right to free speech, it is about the standards of conduct we expect of our elected officials.”

The Notice lists several reasons for the recall, including Peotter’s failure to follow laws related to protection of confidential information, campaign contribution limits, political reporting laws and the use of the city seal.

Also cited was his strong support for high rise development throughout the city and his efforts to prevent residents from obtaining signatures to referend the Museum House project by requiring 3,700 unnecessary pages in the petition. Additional reasons noted included his opposition to the city Sexual Harassment Policy, financial benefits given to Peotter contributors and comments Peotter has made deemed insulting to residents and other council members.

“This is not about his beliefs or his politics. His continued insistence on ignoring our laws as if they do not apply to him and his attempt to trample the constitutional right of residents to petition their government rise to this standard” said Big Canyon resident Lynn Swain, one of the recall organizers.  “No one, especially our elected representatives, is above the law” Swain continued.

Peotter is allowed a 200 word response to the Recall Notice and once signature gathering commences, the proponents have ___– days to obtain (8500) signatures. Additional information can be found at


There’s a Facebook group out there if you want to read some unfiltered comments from the community.