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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Snakes invade Quartzsite Town Hall?

If you were at last Tuesday nights meeting of the Common Council, you might be under this impression...because it was the lame excuse used for Councilman Lukkasson's agenda item proposing a change of the meeting time to 3:00 in the afternoon. (Lukkasson was not in attendance to promote his ridiculous proposal because of a family matter.)

However, critical thinkers might suspect that changing the meeting time to the hottest part of the day, during the hottest part of the year looks suspiciously like an attempt to discourage public attendance. Councilpersons Winslow and Cowell dutifully revealed their secret ophidiophobia right on cue, citing apprehension about the meetings ending after dark...when snakes might be in the parking lot as a reason for the proposed change. Despite Patricia Anderson (who made the motion on Lukkason's behalf) temporarily losing cognition and voting against her intentions, the motion did not pass and the meeting stays at 7 pm.

Now it's the fire department that responds to snake abatement calls, and amazingly,  no response calls were mentioned for Town hall in yesterday's article by "naked bookstore man's wife" Joanne Winer:
http://paloverdevalleytimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=215&SubSectionID=751&ArticleID=13447&TM=14111.03 

Snakes at Town Hall? Shouldn't someone charge them with trying to incite a public panic? Of course there's snakes at Town Hall...but they appear to be on the payroll and that's why we need change!

Speaking of slippery reptiles, Police Chief Jeff Gilbert used the time allotted for "reports and announcements" to report his displeasure at being investigated for criminal acts and official misconduct. He publicized the recent dismissal of Officer Josh Starr for alleged statutory rape and reportedly using his Quartzsite squad car to pick the girl up and take her to CA for sex. (Isn't that kidnapping?) and appears to believe it was not a criminal act, but rather a "personnel" issue. Gilbert is therefore now on public record threatening others who may want to come forward with complaints. (That's threat and intimidation under color of authority, for those who are as blissfully unaware as our Chief of Police...and it's a Federal crime!.) So, if you have any questionable conduct by Chief Gilbert or his goon squad to report, and fear retaliation, just post it here anonymously and someone will look into it. I know precisely who to send it to.

11 comments:

  1. Does anyone know for a FACT that Josh Starr got fired, or did he just get laid off? Is there anyway to get access to his employee records?

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  2. Yes, it's fascinating that Mr. Austin turned over emails and other evidence of the illegal and inappropriate relationship something like a year ago, but Chief Jeffy chose to do NOTHING, when he should have placed Josh on administrative leave etc. until the matter could have been properly investigated. I think that's called nonfeasance or something like that, and as the Chief administrator for the dept. it was his sworn responsibility to do so. Convenient that he now made the problem just go away instead of dealing with it and Star was fired once the complaint went over Jeffy's head to AZPOST...and it couldn't be coincidence that the only two people Jeffy's allegations brought grand jury indictments against for alleged voter fraud were the complainant's wife and brother!!! Oh, and didn't our fine upstanding Chief go after Austin for "disorderly conduct" as retaliation for bringing the complaint against Star?
    Go ahead Jeffy, stand at the podium and deny, deny, deny, but what you've done will not go away. You've left way to much evidence. And I'm prepared to see it through. I want to see you and the rest of them testify in civil court for what I've documented. And oh how I've documented...

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  3. Several witnesses, myself included saw Wes Huntley assault Constable Paul Staudt when he served him with legal papers at the council meeting - right in front of The Chief - who did nothing...

    We are willing to testify.

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  4. Gilbert states in the video "terminated". I believe that's confirmation that he was "fired". You don't get "fired" without cause (I believe it's some sort of a union thing)so the problem is why it took so long. And I wonder what else has Gilbert used his "discretion" to sweep under the rug? It is a shame that there are honest and hard working officers who are forced to work under his authority.

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  5. File an open records request for the investigation report Chief Gilbert mention. Make sure to request all audio, video, notes, logs, reports, and statements relating to the investigation, and expect that some names may be redacted.

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  6. Jeff Gilbert Lies to EVERYONEJuly 20, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    I'm having problems finding any honest hard working officers at QPD. All I see is a bunch of donut eaters who will do what Hitler, I mean Jeffy, tells them to do. Even Hitler had people who tried to take him out, but not here, the money is more important than the principle of it all

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  7. I have been against the removal (letting the Sheriff’s Department provide protection on their dime) of our police department and have spoken against it for a long time. I feel we have a few hard working officers worth saving and their jobs. However, when you have a high paid, IMHO, (over $82K per year) armed thug only protecting his friends and the personal agenda of Town Hall, I am weakening.

    The major issue that still sticks in my craw is the claims related to former QPD Officer Josh Starr and how you can’t get passed the facts behind the case that would lead any sound thinking man (or woman) that Chief Gilbert openly failed to follow good sound practices.

    Don’t know about you, but I have done a lot of checking into the laws related to the “Statutory Rape” of a child both as related to Arizona, California, and Federal Laws and it is AGAINST THE LAW! Now when you add a police officer (they call it “under color of law”) it is even more serious a crime. Now let’s place the officer on duty using his QPD car to pick her up to boot!

    Hard to believe that our Chief of Police feels that this is only a “Personnel” issue and not a criminal offence against a child. The only action he takes is to fire the officer after pressure from outside the Town. Now if he had checked the actions like one of his predecessors, he would have known that the last QPD officer charged with the “Statutory Rape” of a child is still in prison!

    While I was able to see the full Rodney King video and to tell the truth, the responding police officers should NOT have been sent to a Federal Prison to cool their heals, but they were! Maybe Alex Taft should look into her crystal ball and see if Chief Gilbert is taking long showers with bubba!

    Now for the bad news, if you are a property owner here in Quartzsite get ready to grab your ankles and kiss your ass good-by! I think it has been covered in this blog that the Town of Quartzsite is in what is called a “High Risk” insurance pool because of all the cases that they have lost (another good reason to shut down the QPD) in past years. Last Tuesday night, Chief Gilbert gave the civil attorneys all the information they could want to win their cases against him and the Town.

    You ask, “How does this effect me”? Did you ever ask yourself just who is next in line to pay the bills of a city or town when the insurance runs out? It comes down to the property owners. If you own property you should take an interest in a Chief of Police that is having problems in telling the difference between a personnel issue and criminal activity of one of his officers. Besides, I thought that the police were to protect the innocent and not, from what I have read in this blog, make personal vindictive attacks against the people that try to file criminal complaints.

    What Chief Gilbert should remember, “It aint over till the fat lady sings”! Kind of reminds ya of the movie, the Shawshank Redemption…

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  8. Isn't Star taking that girl across state lines a violation of the Mann Act?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann_Act

    Even if it was consensual, it was clearly illegal, and Jeffy failing to act is clearly grounds to break his contract!

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  9. Part 1 of 3

    When is the alleged sexual assault of a minor by a sworn police officer EVER a “Personnel” matter? Sad to say, but this isn’t Quartzsite’s 1st rodeo when it comes to a QPD Officer having unlawful sex with an underage girl. It is even rumored that another QPD Officer has been involved with an underage girl that lives in Ehrenberg.

    Could Chief Gilbert’s concerns over having to pay back the Federal Grant Funds (remember Quartzsite is said to be broke) that QPD Officer Josh Starr was hired under out-weighed doing a proper criminal investigation for sexual misconduct with a child? Gilbert’s credibility went into the old trashcan when it took almost a year to set free QPD Officer Josh Starr.

    The time for action was the day the phone call was made to register the “Statutory Rape” of an underage girl. When Chief Gilbert had learned that QPD Officer Josh Starr was the alleged assailant, his 1st sequence of action should have been to place QPD Officer Josh Starr on “Paid Administrative Leave” and prohibit the officer from having any contact with the family or child throughout the full criminal investigation by either the La Paz |Sheriff’s Department or the Arizona Department of Public Safety!

    While it is Chief Gilbert’s job to safeguard his officers against unfounded and/or vindictive complaints, his first responsibility is to the citizens of Quartzsite. Hence, the reason for an external agency to do the criminal investigation into the alleged charges against QPD Officer Josh Starr. If the complaint is found false the officer is returned to duty. If a deceptive report, then you can bring charges against the person who filed the false report. However, if the complaint is found to have the evidence to cause charges to be filed against QPD Officer Josh Starr, then your hands are clean and justice has been served. You can wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror free from any feeling of guilt.

    The one cold detail that can’t be ignored here is that this should have NEVER been left to rumors and only talks on the streets of Quartzsite. It was never handled in a professional and timely manner in the best interest of justice for all parties involved. This is still destined to find its way not only into a criminal court of law but into civil courts. It is already in the court of public opinion and shared via the Internet and the world!

    Lets take a look at some of the possible violations of law that QPD Officer Josh Starr should have been cleared or charged with:

    Arizona Criminal Code
    ***13-1403. Public sexual indecency; public sexual indecency to a minor; classifications
    A. A person commits public sexual indecency by intentionally or knowingly engaging in any of the following acts, if another person is present, and the defendant is reckless about whether such other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act:
    1. An act of sexual contact.
    2. An act of oral sexual contact.
    3. An act of sexual intercourse.
    4. An act of bestiality.
    B. A person commits public sexual indecency to a minor if the person intentionally or knowingly engages in any of the acts listed in subsection A and such person is reckless about whether a minor under the age of fifteen years is present.
    C. Public sexual indecency is a class 1 misdemeanor. Public sexual indecency to a minor is a class 5 felony.

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  10. Part 2 of 3
    ***13-1405. Sexual conduct with a minor; classification; definition
    A. A person commits sexual conduct with a minor by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under eighteen years of age.
    B. Sexual conduct with a minor who is under fifteen years of age is a class 2 felony and is punishable pursuant to section 13-705. Sexual conduct with a minor who is at least fifteen years of age is a class 6 felony. Sexual conduct with a minor who is at least fifteen years of age is a class 2 felony if the person is the minor's parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, foster parent or the minor's teacher or clergyman or priest and the convicted person is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis except as specifically authorized by section 31-233, subsection A or B until the sentence imposed has been served or commuted.
    C. For the purposes of this section, "teacher" means a certificated teacher as defined in section 15-501 or any other person who directly provides academic instruction to pupils in any school district, charter school, accommodation school, the Arizona state schools for the deaf and the blind or a private school in this state.

    ***13-3554. Luring a minor for sexual exploitation; classification
    A. A person commits luring a minor for sexual exploitation by offering or soliciting sexual conduct with another person knowing or having reason to know that the other person is a minor.
    B. It is not a defense to a prosecution for a violation of this section that the other person is not a minor.
    C. Luring a minor for sexual exploitation is a class 3 felony, and if the minor is under fifteen years of age it is punishable pursuant to section 13-705.

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  11. Part 3 of 3

    U.S. CODE

    18 USC Sec. 2423 02/01/2010

    -EXPCITE-
    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 117 - TRANSPORTATION FOR ILLEGAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND RELATED
    CRIMES

    -HEAD-
    Sec. 2423. Transportation of minors

    -STATUTE-
    (a) Transportation With Intent To Engage in Criminal Sexual
    Activity. - A person who knowingly transports an individual who has
    not attained the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign commerce,
    or in any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United
    States, with intent that the individual engage in prostitution, or
    in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a
    criminal offense, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned
    not less than 10 years or for life.
    (b) Travel With Intent To Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct. - A
    person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the
    United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for
    permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign
    commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct
    with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
    not more than 30 years, or both.
    (c) Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places. - Any
    United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who
    travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual
    conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or
    imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
    (d) Ancillary Offenses. - Whoever, for the purpose of commercial
    advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces, procures,
    or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is
    traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the
    purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under
    this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
    (e) Attempt and Conspiracy. - Whoever attempts or conspires to
    violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the
    same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
    (f) Definition. - As used in this section, the term "illicit
    sexual conduct" means (1) a sexual act (as defined in section 2246)
    with a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of
    chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and
    territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or (2) any
    commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person under
    18 years of age.
    (g) Defense. - In a prosecution under this section based on
    illicit sexual conduct as defined in subsection (f)(2), it is a
    defense, which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of
    the evidence, that the defendant reasonably believed that the
    person with whom the defendant engaged in the commercial sex act
    had attained the age of 18 years.

    Feel free to look upon the laws that govern the activity prohibited between QPD Officer Josh Starr and any girl that is underage. Then ask yourself, how could Chief Gilbert fail to call in an outside agency to do the criminal investigation into these charges against QPD Officer Josh Starr to either clear his name or to have him placed into handcuffs and hauled off to face the charges against him?

    If former QPD Officer Josh Starr is guilty (This can only be determined in a criminal/civil court of law.) of the charges against him, has Chief Gilbert only set loose upon the streets of another town a “Child Sexual Predator” to strike again and make the Town of Quartzsite libel to more civil court actions? I can now understand why Chief Gilbert has problems with people wanting to talk to him to report crimes…

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