Michael Stogner said Thursday he plans to file a notice of intent by Monday to recall Sheriff Greg Munks, who was caught up in a police raid on a suspected brothel and human trafficking operation in Las Vegas on April 19.
Munks said in a statement April 24 he thought he was visiting a legitimate business and didn't break any laws, but he has declined to answer any questions about the incident.
"Why wouldn't he answer questions about a noncriminal act?" Stogner said. "We know he's lying. I've lived in San Mateo County all my life, and I don't need my top law enforcement official to be a liar."
Munks' secretary said the sheriff was out of the office Thursday and unavailable for an interview. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office also declined to comment.
Though Stogner believes there is wide public support for ousting the sheriff, recalling any San Mateo County official is a tall order.
Elections office spokesman David Tom said 10 percent of registered voters in the county must sign a petition to get a recall effort on the ballot. That works out to about 35,000 people.
Tom said neither he nor others in the elections office could remember a single successful recall effort in the county.
Stogner, who works full time as an auto salesman, said he believes the recall is necessary, no matter how much work it takes. "It's the only way to do it. He has to answer to the voters ... and right now he's refusing to answer to anybody."
Members of the county's Board of Supervi-sors have largely steered clear of the controversy, saying that as an elected official, the sheriff is responsible only to the electorate. Munks, who previously served as undersheriff, ran unopposed for the top position last year after incumbent Don Horsley stepped down.
To begin a recall drive, proponents must file a notice of intent with the county, publish it and serve it personally to the official in question. The notice must come with 20 signatures from registered county voters, whom Stogner said he has already lined up.
Tom said his office frequently gets requests for information about the recall process, but people rarely follow through. Tom confirmed that he responded to Stogner's request for information last week.
Recall proponents need not name a replacement, and Stogner said he's not overly concerned with that at this point. "We're putting out some feelers right now," he said. "But really, I don't think it matters too much, as long as it's an honest person. I think we have plenty of great law enforcement people out there in this county."
E-mail Will Oremus at firstname.lastname@example.org.