GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A judge has temporarily stopped an effort to recall the Pondera County sheriff.

The Great Falls Tribune reported Friday that District Court Judge Bob Olson issued the order in response to a challenge of the recall petition by Sheriff Carl Suta.

Resident Stacy Welker collected enough signatures to ask county voters to recall Suta for alleged incompetence. However, Suta alleges the information in the petition's accompanying statement was obtained second-hand, that it doesn't amount to incompetence and that it exceeded a word limit.

Welker's lawyer, Penny Oteri, says state law allows for some wiggle room for technical errors in recall petitions. She believes the petition is valid.

The judge will hold a hearing to consider Suta's claims on Dec. 11.

___

Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com