Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert couldn't dig himself a deeper hole if you loaned him a backhoe. Reportedly on a four day "vacation" leave while under investigation for ethics violations, he's still the department head, but how much longer the council will continue to jeopardize their own position for his is anybody's guess.
After his attempt to interfere with government operations by arresting the mayor as he was walking into the May 10th meeting of the Common Council, even former supporters are questioning his motives and his choice of timing.
His repeated harassment and misdemeanor arrests of Desert Freedom Press publisher Jennifer Jones appears to be creating an iron clad basis for her harassment lawsuit against him and the town. After being served with a notice of claim by Jones' attorney last June, it is inconceivable that town leaders would tolerate the patterns and practice that initiated the complaint, yet their complicity in Police Chief Jeff Gilbert's actions make them willing accomplices to his alleged crimes. They even gave him a pay raise recently, when they approved renewing his contact.
What? The mayor was arrested? Yes, but he didn't go to jail. Police Chief Gilbert released him, after he signed a misdemeanor citation under duress for "disorderly conduct" and "interfering with prosecution" and will be reportedly pleading not guilty at his June arraignment. The felony charge requested by the police chief was thrown out by La Paz County Prosecutor "Sammy the Bully" Vederman. According to a reliable source, Vederman considered it politically motivated...
The arrest of Mayor Foster did not occur at the time of the alleged incident, but 5 days later, leaving a few to wonder why the citation was not served at Foster's home, or while he was out in public. However, it is apparent to most that the arrest was an orchestrated show of force that required an audience. If the Chief had hopes of Mayor Foster resisting arrest, or providing some other cause resulting in jail time, Gilbert must have been disappointed. Foster chaired the meeting without further interference.
Will new town prosecutor Martin Brannan actually take these misdemeanor charges to trial? What evidence of police misconduct will be revealed during pre-trial "discovery"? The summer may be hot, but it certainly won't be boring. I for one am looking forward to seeing the police chief take the stand and try and justify his actions!