Local attorney Matt Newman is apparently refusing to do further
business with the Town of Quartzsite, “at any hourly
rate”, calling the current administration
This comes after Public Defender Michael Frame refused to work on
cases involving the Town’s Attorney Martin Brannan, citing conflicts
of interest and what he believes are politically-motivated actions
against his clients by Brannan and the Town.
Newman adds his voice to this dissent in a Refusal of Appointment, saying:
It is my belief that the current administration of the Town has
created an inherent conflict of interest by appointing the Town
Prosecutor as the Town Attorney and Town Parliamentarian. It is also
my belief that the current administration is specifically targeting
certain individuals for prosecution due to their political views.
His letter continues, elaborating on why he doesn’t want to do business
with the town.
This wasn’t just a personal letter or a letter from his law firm, by the way,
it was a court motion.
So a Council can manage to get such a bad reputation that a lawyer
won’t do business with it.
by not warning Jennifer Jones before removing her on 28 June 2011;
by holding a Council meeting on 10 July 2011
in which they excluded the public by actually locking the doors of their
by failing to post minutes of the emergency meeting on
as required by Arizona Law (yes, Arizona law,
like Texas law, requires
posting minutes on the web)
and by not including a required statement of the emergency requiring
and by failing to post withing the required three working days
minutes for the 10 July 2011 emergency meeting,
nor for seven of its work sessions, nor for its 14 June 2011 regular session.
This one wasn’t a violation, but may be at least as important:
The purpose of the OML is to require public bodies to meet publicly
and openly so that al persons so desiring may attend and listen to the
deliberations and proceedings.
Local Realtor Doug Gilford has gained notoriety as the blogger and
videographer who filmed the unlawful removal of Desert Freedom Press
Publisher Jennifer Jones, from a June 28th town council meeting. The
video has been viewed almost two hundred thousand times on
Gilford’s YouTube channel.
Yesterday afternoon, around 3:30 Gilford was at the counter in Town Hall,
filing an open records request for town hall feed surveillance tape
when Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson confronted Gilford. Apparently
feeling threatened, Gilford set his camera on the counter but didn’t hit
record, when suddenly Johnson snatched it from across the counter. When
Gilford called for police assistance, he ended up being arrested instead
Well, I suppose there are several morals here, such as never set your
camera down, never go into a public office alone, etc.
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.