At the QIA "town meeting" where 5 members of the Quartzsite Town Council held an illegal quorum with several Town employees in attendance, it was revealed that the "ad hoc" attack on popular Mayor Ed Foster cost "$13,000" in legal fees alone.
Yesterday, local patriot and critic of incumbent council members Mike Roth was sentenced to one year unsupervised probation for "disrupting a public meeting" that was actually in recess (but the jury wasn't properly instructed of that fact). The lower court had previously dismissed the charges "in the interest of justice" but somehow Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert managed to convene a grand jury to try Roth in Superior Court. Roth is appealing the conviction and the jury was hung on the charge of "resisting arrest", which has been moved back to the lower court. Estimated cost so far is somewhere between $10,000 and 15,000 and climbing.
When questioned about the sentencing, Roth stated "If the good people of Quartzsite would like to really see justice served, disband the Quartzsite Police Department and elect a Constitutional Town Council that has the courage to fire Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert. The day will come when it will be revealed that this was nothing more than a sad attempt by an out of control police chief, and Town Council, at silencing someone who is merely questioning authority. Time to wake up people, this isn’t your Grandparents America anymore!" For in depth discussion, see: http://www.parkerliveonline.com/2010/10/12/conviction-in-quartzsite-council-disruption-case/#comments
Legal fees for Town Attorney Pam Walsma are so far over budget for the fiscal year that it is not unrealistic to predict her bills will eat up most, if not all of the monies in the general fund. Yet, the Town Council just can't seem to stop themselves from digging a financial hole from which the town may not escape.
Last year, Mr Felton, owner of B10 campground on the west end of Main St. protested action by then Mayor Wes Huntley and our current council. His attorney stated something to the effect "if you do this, we will sue". And sue they did. Currently, the case has been docketed for the Arizona Supreme Court.
A local businessman reached an out of court settlement for "police harassment" over the summer, but it was kept quiet.,
If Quartzsite loses it's insurance, it cannot keep it's incorporation. Currently, the town is in the "high risk" pool because of previous claims and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns provides coverage. Who is in charge of that? Why Mr. Simms, the nice man that came to the training session and warned the police chief about taking it upon himself to arrest people at Town Council meetings..."You might get sued!"
And speaking of getting sued, recent arrests of current candidate Jennifer Jones and husband John, well as former candidate Russell Sias leave open the potential for additional legal fees far in excess of what the town can afford, and the citation against the Jones' landlord by "Building Official" Al Johnson opened the door for "Proposition 207, the Arizona Property Protection Act". This makes the town liable for ALL of Jim and Stephanie Aaron's legal fees regarding the property at 645 N. Central commonly known as "J & S Covers".
Outspoken critic of town officials Jerry Wilcox reports that charges against him which resulted in his arrest and the towing of his vehicle were dropped today. He is investigating the possibility of filing a claim against the Town for damages as well.
Former Mayor Richard Oldham reports that the Town appears to have retained an outside legal firm in the prop 207/eminent domain action against him, over his property located west of the "Main Event" on Main St. Oldham received a letter from this firm a couple of weeks ago.