JUNEAU -- The Ketchikan Republicans are planning a petition to recall state representative Kyle Johansen, who walked out of the House majority caucus last fall and wasn't allowed back in.
"We gave him an opportunity to resign, and he would not do that, so the next step was initiate the recall process," said Dick Coose, the Republican district chairman for Ketchikan.
Coose said the law doesn't allow a recall application within 120 days of the start of the legislative session. So he said the application can't be turned in until mid-May, about a month after the end of the 2011 session of the Legislature.
He said the application must contain signatures from about 10 percent of the people who voted in the last general election in Ketchikan. The state will review it and then issue recall forms, Coose said, which will require the Ketchikan Republicans to get signatures of 25 percent of the voters.
If that is approved the state will set up a special election.
Coose said the District 1 Republicans voted earlier in the week to start the recall because they didn't think Johansen's actions in leaving the House majority caucus were appropriate for the community. He said they decided to keep it under wraps until today to give Johansen time to resign.
The petition will have to state the grounds for recall. The grounds allowed under the law are lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.
Johansen, a Republican, was re-elected as a state representative last fall. But that was before he walked out of the majority caucus in November, along with Anchorage Republican Charisse Millett.
Majority members say Millett left after losing out to Anchorage Republican Rep. Mike Hawker as chair of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. Hawker, who has cancer, wanted to step down as co-chair of the House Finance Committee and take the lighter load of the Budget and Audit Committee.
Johansen then offered to step down from his influential position of majority leader if that would get Millett a seat on the Finance Committee. The caucus didn't agree, and he walked out.
Johansen was pressed about his relationship with Millet during a town hall in Ketchikan last fall.
He denied a romantic involvement and said she is a "great friend of mine."
Johansen did not immediately return a phone message to the Daily News on Saturday.