Quartzsite police chief puts most of the dept. on leave for whistleblowing

They were complaining about the conduct of the police chief. He also put them under curfew and selective house arrest. This is the town where activists were dragged out of city council meetings and arrested by that same police chief, over the protests of the mayor.

Tory Rangel wrote for abc15.com 21 July 2011, Town of Quartzsite puts more than half of its police department on leave

An Arizona town has put more than half of its police department on leave and officers tell ABC15 they feel it’s retaliation for speaking out against their boss.

William Ponce said he now feels he could lose his job with the Quartzsite Police Department after he, and eight other officers, came forward and accused the police chief of misconduct and abuse of power.

“I feel this is retaliation against the officers that signed this letter and came forth speaking out against corruption,” said Ponce.

After complaints from officers, DPS launched a criminal investigation into allegations Chief Jeff Gilbert had workers run criminal background check on people he didn’t like.

Maybe the chief felt he had to look into their character. I wonder if he made them all take drug tests?

That was a week ago. As of yesterday, according to Rady Ananda in COTO Report:

Though state and federal laws are being openly violated, the state has yet to stop any of it.
That’s from a blog that says it is “a group of people who openly recognize that corporations are destroying Earth, our home”. Today the blog Fellowship of the Minds, self-described as “Conservatives who love America”, posted a video from Judge Napolitano’s show on Fox News, Whistleblower Cop Speaks Out Against Quartzsite Police Chief, showing one of the furloughed officers breaking curfew and speaking on TV:
“I’m concerned for my safety and for the safety of the officers who are still working.”
It seems that suppressing whistleblowers is unpopular across the political spectrum. For good reason, since if it can happen to whistleblowers, it can happen to you.

What’s the police chief’s excuse for all this? Back in January, after federal Judge John Roll was killed and Congress member Gabriel Giffords was shot,

Chief Gilbert warned the Council in an open meeting on January 11 that the same level of anti-government rhetoric exists in Quartzsite (starting at about 6:24), which he characterized as warning signs similar to those exhibited by Jared Lee Loughner, Roll’s assassin:
That’s from COTO Report, which includes video of the Chief Gilbert saying those things. Why does that sound familiar?

You’ve seen the video of the previously-arrested activist addressing the town council. She asked them to get current on the laws of their own state regarding open meetings and free speech. Which sounds more dangerous to you? What she said, or what Chief Gilbert is doing?

As the TV news host asked:

“Where’s the governor? Where’s the Attorney General?”
Where, indeed?


2 thoughts on “Quartzsite police chief puts most of the dept. on leave for whistleblowing

  1. Susan Leavens

    It would appear people are going crazy over power! I understand their fear and have felt it myself. I can appreciate how it feels to be threatened with jail… its just sad this goes on and no one steps in to intervene. Our world is becoming something I think none of us want… fearful. I would think the officers under Chief Gilbert are more scared jail is one thing losing your life is another, but no matter how you look at it… it’s all about power over the people.
    Susan Leavens

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