Staff and Wire Reports

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- A group has filed a petition to have Stillwater Mayor Nathan Bates recalled.

Bates first made headlines when he was elected as Stillwater's mayor at such a young age. Now, he's looking to defend his position against the signatures that could lead to a recall.

There are pages of names being typed into the computers of the Payne County Election Board, lists of petitioners looking to boot Mayor Nathan Bates from his seat turned into City Hall Friday.

"They've requested my office look over the petition and verify the signatures on the petition are registered voters from the city of Stillwater," Glenna Craig with the Payne County Election Board said.

One of the 117 names belongs to Becky Teague who holds a seat on Stillwater's planning commission and is the one who filed the petition.

"Yes, I did bring it down here," said Teague. "I was asked to bring it down here and I did so."

But Teague won't say by whom, only saying she didn't write it.

"I don't think it matters who asked me to bring it down here, I think what you have to realize is there are 100 people on there," Teague said.

It's left Mayor Bates full of questions on who started the recall effort.

"It's been shocking really," said Mayor Bates. "First, we didn't know what was going on."

The petition accuses Bates of using his position for personal benefit, interfering with police officers on duty, being intoxicated in public, and asking a young woman to expose her breasts. A police report documents that complaint, but also shows Bates never admitted to the act.

"The truth is there's not a whole lot I can respond to because I haven't done it and it's hard to explain actions I didn't do," Bates said.

But the allegations are recall worthy to those who have put it in print.

"If we have any elected official, any given time the behavior and conduct in that petition I highly question the right of him to serve," Teague said.

If the election board verifies all the signatures in the petition another petition will have to be filed for a recall election. That petition will need at least 650 verified signatures.

The petition was filed on Friday by a group called the Concerned Citizens Of Stillwater.