Posts Tagged ‘Quartzsite’

Quartzsite, Ariz., Where the Fox Guards the Chickens

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Quartzsite, Ariz., Where the Fox Guards the Chickens

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 21, 2011

In a rather interesting, and perhaps, bizarre, action by the Quartzsite Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert, sanctioned by the Assistant Town Manager, Al Johnson, ten of the fourteen Town policemen have been put on paid leave and confined to their homes, during certain periods of the day.

So, why is this bizarre?  Well, if it were a corporation/business and the CEO (Chief) decided that he wanted to suspend employees, pending firing; he could be serving the best interest of the company and the stockholders.  However, he would also be accountable to the stockholders, and could be dismissed, forthwith, absent the consent of those “owners” of the corporation.

However, when we look at a Police Department, whose purpose is to serve the citizens of that town, we should have an entirely different standard.  If the town requires 14 policemen to maintain control of the town and provide for the safety of the citizens, how can it be in the best interest of the town (and its citizens) to dispense with 71% of the force that was argued as necessary to provide that protection?  At least, this should lead to some serious questions about the Police Department’s budget — as a necessity — since the Chief has arbitrarily found that he can do with four, what he used to need fourteen to do.  This is especially true when you consider that recently the Town Council determined that the safety of the public warranted a special meeting and emergency measures (see The Emergency that Warranted an Emergency Meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council) be taken to provide for that safety.  How does that possibly justify the presumption that only 35% of the force can provide such safety?

Think about it, you have four officers who must serve a town of 3800 people, 24 hours a day.  That amounts to 1.3 officers on duty, for all shifts, seven days a week, with no time off.

Understand that Quartzsite sits astride Interstate Highway 10, the primary corridor from Phoenix (and points east) to Los Angeles.  With its truck stops and eateries, and the last significant town before entering California, it is a 24-hour town.  Parts of the town bustle all day, and all night.  How, then, can adequate protection be provided?

Well, the answer is quite simple.  Don Lowery, Sheriff of La Paz County, Arizona, and Chief Gilbert, worked together as officers on the Colorado River Indian Reservation.  Coincidently, they both ended up back in La Paz County.  One as Sheriff; the other as Chief of Police in Quartzsite.  Can there be any wonder why the investigation called for by the ten officers (No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert) ended up being dismissed?

The dismissal of the complaint has resulted in the current activity that imposes the following on the ten officers (only some of what is imposed by the “Notice of Investigation and Intent to Interview“):

  • You have the right to have a representative with you during the interview
  • Your representative may not participate in the interview
  • Your representative must either be an employee of the Quartzsite Police Department who is not a subject of this investigation or a member of your professional membership organization
  • Your representative cannot be an attorney

Let’s take a breather here.  A representative is one who represents you, but, in this case, cannot represent (participate) you in the interview.  And, in an even more surprising proclamation, he cannot be an attorney.  It appears that the right to counsel in proceedings that can result in disciplinary action, including termination, does not allow what has been considered a mainstay of the judicial process in this country.

The officers are then placed on “administrative leave”, with the proviso that they are “required to remain in at [their] place of residence (house arrest?) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and Noon and between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.”

It continues, “Failure to be present at your residence during those hours without express prior approval from the investigator, Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson, shall be considered dereliction of duty and may result in additional disciplinary action, including dismissal”.

This pretty much displaces the concept of justice, the judicial branch of government, which the law enforcement agencies are an extension of, as officers of the court.  And ironically, it is contrary to what occurred when the investigation of Chief Gilbert was conducted.

At the June 16, 2011 Town Council meeting, John Stairs, vice president, Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs (AZCOPS), specifically suggested, in his recommendation to the Town Council that “AZCOPS believes it is wise and prudent to place Chief Gilbert on paid administrative leave so these allegations can be thoroughly and impartially investigated by DPS.”  At that meeting, however, the Town Council rejected the recommendation, leaving Chief Gilbert in full control of the Police Department.

Now comes the emergency meeting (link, above) that places Chief Gilbert and Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson in total control, and they decide that ten officers should be placed on administrative leave, leaving the town with a very meager staff to maintain “law and order” (and, I use that phrase loosely), while the decision rests, for all intents and purposes, in the hands of Jeff Gilbert.

Can there be any better example of the fox guarding the chickens?

[Note: Do not construe this article to imply that the citizens of Quartzsite are the chickens referred to, rather, that the chickens referred to herein are the entire Town Council and administrative staff, with the sole exception of Mayor Ed Foster.]

 

Previous articles on Quartzsite:

Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona

No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert

Quartzsite Mayor declares meeting illegal, Town Council proceeds without the Mayor

The Emergency that Warranted an Emergency Meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council

 

 

The Emergency that Warranted an Emergency Meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The Emergency that Warranted an Emergency Meeting of the Quartzsite Town Council

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 14, 2011

 

On July 10, 2011, the Quartzsite Town Council held an Emergency Meeting (see Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona).  The minutes of that meeting have been found (transcription of minutes and PDF links of minutes at bottom of this article) and show that the Council took 6 actions at that meeting:

First, they declare that there was an emergency “requiring the Council to meet without prior public notice”, though the “emergency is not stated within that declaration.  Reference is made to A.R.S. (Arizona Revised Statutes) 38-341.02(D) – Notice of Meetings, which states:

D. In case of an actual emergency, a meeting, including an executive session, may be held on such notice as is appropriate to the circumstances.  If this subsection is utilized for conduct of an emergency session or the consideration of an emergency measure at a previously scheduled meeting the public body must post a public notice within twenty-four hours declaring that an emergency session has been held and setting forth the information required in subsections H and I of this section.

***

H. Agendas required under this section shall list the specific matters to be discussed, considered, or decided at the meeting.  The public body may discuss, consider, or make decisions only on matters listed on the agenda and other matters related thereto.

I. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, notice of executive sessions shall be required to include only a general description of the matters to be considered.  The agenda shall provide more than just a recital of the statutory provisions authorizing the executive session, but need not contain information that would defeat the purpose of the executive session, compromise the legitimate privacy interests of a public officer, appointee or employee or compromise the attorney-client privilege.

We have not been able to obtain a copy of the Agenda required, and, in a conversation with Mayor Foster, he was not aware of the meeting until the police arrived at his door, shortly before the meeting began.

Next, they suspended “Town Council Procedure Policy Section III.1, setting regular Council meetings for second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m., until the second Tuesday in September or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances[sic] no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointed town officials.”

So, here, we begin to understand the nature of the “emergency”; “emergent circumstances … which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointed town officials.”

Then, they suspended both the “Citizen’s Comments” and the “call to the public” provisions of the Town Council Procedure Policy.  They have disallowed any public comment at the meetings.

Now, they will proceed to change the meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., as if this will cure the problem, or reduce the threat.

At this point, we must wonder if we have alleviated any threat that creates “an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointed town officials.”  Based upon the actions, the threat either comes from having the meetings in the evening, when working people are more easily able to attend, or, they fear that what the public has to say creates a threat, by their very words.

So, just how does this constitute an emergency?  How does this provide protection to the public and/or officials?  Is there any logical reasoning behind these decisions, at all?

So, let us continue.  The next act is “to direct Town Manager and Chief of Police to implement procedures to ensure the safety of public attendees at future Council meetings.”  This is, to say the least, a bit ambiguous, and, perhaps, quite broad in its scope.  It might cause us to wonder what “procedures” might be necessary to “ensure the safety of public attendees” at Council meetings.  Since the public forum has been closed, we can only surmise that arresting any of the public who try to speak at a Town Council meeting would be all that can be derived from the decisions made at this “emergency meeting”.

In a final act of gracious consideration to the Town staff, they move the next Tuesday’s meeting to 10:00 a.m. to allow staff to properly prepare the required 24-hour notice.

Darn, now I have more questions than I had before I was able to read the minutes of the secret meeting.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Transcription from the PDF images of the July 10, 2011, Quartzsite Town Council meeting:

PUBLIC NOTICE
EMERGENCY MEETING

Notice of Emergency Meeting

Town of Quartzsite Common Council

Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:45 a.m.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH TOWN CODE SECTION 2-4-1 AND ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES SECTION § 38-431.02.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE QUARTZSITE COMMON COUNCIL AND TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF QUARTZSITE, ARIZONA, DID HOLD AN EMERGENCY MEETING ON SUNDAY, JULY 10 AT 11:45 AM.  AT THE QUARTZSITE MUNICIPAL CENTER, 465 N. PLYMOUTH AVE., 1/4 MILE NORTH OF MAIN STREET (B-10).  SEE MINUTES WHICH ARE ATTACHED HERETO AND INCORPORATED HEREIN.  MEMBERS OF THE COMMON COUNCIL ATTENDED IN PERSON.

/s/ Karen Norris        
Karen Norris, Town Clerk  

DATE POSTED:     July 11, 2011

TIME POSTED:       Noon

COUNCIL MAY NOT ACT ON ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA

{page 2}

MINUTES

TOWN OF QUARTZSITE
EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE COMMON COUNCIL
SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2011 11:45 AM

CALL TO ORDER:    Vice Mayor Cowell 11:45 a.m.

ROLL CALL: Vice Mayor Cowell, Council Members Anderson, Kelley, Lukkasson and Winslow

ABSENT: Mayor Foster

STAFF PRESENT: Town Manager Alex Taft, Town Attorney Brannan, Town Clerk Karen Norris, Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Council Member Winslow motioned to approve the agenda as written.  Motion seconded by Council Member Lukkasson.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Report from Town Manager and Chief of Police concerning emergent circumstances involving an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive town officers.

Mayor Foster arrives during the reports and refused to come into the meeting at 11:57 a.m.

NEW BUSINESS:
1. Declare the existence of an emergency requiring Council to meet without prior public notice pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.02(D).

Council Member Lukkasson motioned to declare the existence of an emergency requiring the Council to meet without prior public notice pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02(D).  Motion seconded by Council Member Kelley.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

2. Suspend Town Council Procedure Policy Section III.1, setting regular Council meetings for second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m., until [date] or until two-thirds of the Council determines that emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive town officials, whichever occurs first.

Council Member Anderson motioned to suspend Town Council Procedure Policy Section III.1, setting regular Council meetings for second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m., until the second Tuesday in September or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive town officials.

{possible missing text in PDF file}

{page 3}

whichever occurs first.  Motion seconded by Council Member Lukkasson.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

3. Suspend that portion of Town Council Procedure Policy Section V.1 relating to placing “CITIZENS COMMENTS” (call to the public) in the Order of Business and Agenda until [DATE] or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.

Council Member Kelley motioned to Suspend that portion of Town Council Procedure Policy Section V.1 relating to placing “CITIZENS COMMENTS” (call to the public) in the Order of Business and Agenda until the second meeting in September or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.  Motion seconded by Council Member Winslow.  Town Manager Taft asks Council Member Kelley to clarify which date in September, Council Member Kelley stated he wanted the same date as the previous motion, which is the second Tuesday in September.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

4. Suspend that portion of Town Council Procedure Policy Section VII.1 setting forth procedures for “call to the public,” until [DATE] or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.

Council Member Kelley motioned to suspend Town Council Procedure Policy Section VII.1, setting forth procedures for “call to the public,” until the second meeting in September or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.  Motion seconded by Council Member Winslow.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

5. Schedule regular Town Council Meeting for [dates and times] until [DATE] or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.

Council Member Lukkasson motioned to schedule regular Town Council Meeting for 9:00 a.m. on normal meeting Tuesdays until the second Tuesday in September or until two-thirds of the Council determines that an emergent circumstances no longer exist which create an imminent risk to public safety and the safety of elective and appointive officials, whichever occurs first.  Motion seconded by Council Member Winslow.  Discussion regarding this next coming up meeting.  Need to give 24 hour notice of that meeting.  Council Member Lukkasson amends his motion to state this coming Tuesdays meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. to give staff an opportunity to distribute the notice.  Council Member Winslow seconds the amendment.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote on the amendment.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  AMENDMENT

{page 4}

CARRIED.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote on the original motion.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

6. Direct Town Manager and Chief of Police to implement procedures to ensure the safety of public attendees at future Council meetings.

Council Member Kelley motioned to direct Town Manager and Chief of Police to implement procedures to ensure the safety of public attendees at future Council meetings.  Motion seconded by Council Member Lukkasson.  Vice Mayor Cowell calls for the vote on the amendment.  Vote — 5 in favor, 1 member absent and 1 vacancy.  MOTION CARRIED.

ADJOURNMENT:
12:41 p.m.

CERTIFICATION:
I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the minutes of the Emergency Meeting of the Town Council of Quartzsite, Arizona, held on the 10th day of July 2011.
I further certify that the meeting was duly called by emergency and held and that a quorum was present.
DATED this 12th day of July 2011.

{unsigned}      
Karen Norris, Town Clerk

APPROVED:

{unsigned}
Ed Foster, Mayor

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

PDF images of the minutes:

Page 1 – Notice

Page 2 – minutes

Page 3 – minute

Page 4 – minutes

Quartzsite Mayor declares meeting illegal, Town Council proceeds without the Mayor

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Quartzsite Mayor declares meeting illegal, Town Council proceeds without the Mayor

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 13, 2011

 

An on again, off again, meeting was held in Quartzsite, Arizona, on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at 10:00 AM. The meeting, according to sources, was called during an illegal meeting, as declared by the Mayor, on Sunday, July 10. This July 10 meeting was the subject of an early posting (Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona).

Mayor Ed Foster, at the beginning of the Tuesday meeting, pointed out that the Arizona State Attorney General had not declared the Sunday meeting to be illegal, since he had received no formal complaints regarding the illegality. The Mayor then encouraged all to file such complaints (complaint link contained in Illegal Town Council…).

The Mayor then declared that this (Tuesday) meeting was, also, illegal, since it was scheduled during the illegal meeting of Sunday, and is not being held at the normal 7:00 PM meeting time, as stipulated in Town Code. He further stated that Arizona Revised Statutes requires that “all persons shall be allowed to attend public meetings”, after pointing out that there were a number of people outside, who had not been allowed entry to the meeting. 

He then stated that he had directed the Town Clerk to arrange for a larger facility for subsequent meetings and that the non-meeting then being held would be rescheduled within 24 hours.  Mayor Foster then left the building.

The City Attorney then explained that the Sunday meeting was, “presumptively,” legal, since “there has been no judicial finding that it was illegal”.  The council, absent the Mayor, continued the meeting with Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell presiding over the meeting.

The first order of business, then, was to decide whether they should continue the current meeting, to which the Council voted, unanimously, to continue.  The audience, however, appeared to, resoundingly, vote “Nay”.

The meeting was then called to order by the Vice Mayor. An invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance were held, and then a roll call indicated that all were present, except Mayor Foster.

A consent agenda (three items, unstated) was approved and then discussion began on the tentative budget for 2011-2012. It was decided that the tentative budget would be published, another special meeting be held prior to approval, and then the meeting for the approval be held, approved unanimously.

The meeting was then adjourned about 11 minutes after Mayor Foster’s first statement. Nothing controversial, at all, was discussed, with the exceptions noted above.

* * *

Outside of the meeting, others who had come to visit Quartzsite and get an idea of what is going on in this little town of about 3800 full time residents, report that they were told that there was no copy of the “meeting rules” available. The “meeting rules” came to prominence when Jennifer “Jade” Jones was forcibly removed from the building after stating that the rules had never been adopted by the Council (see Arrest Jennifer Jade Jones June 28 Quartzsite Arizona Council Meeting Viral), though she was not arrested, only removed from the meeting).

It was also noted that the ten Quartzsite Police Officers who had signed a request for an investigation (No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert) were at the grounds outside of the meeting wearing red tee-shirts, while the on-duty officers were not signatories to the request. Quite a coincidence!

Channels 3, 5, 12 and 15 (Phoenix) were present, along with numerous reporters from other locations, including Blythe, California, just twenty miles west along Interstate 10.  Channel 3, a late arrival, chose only to interview Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert, who explained that he did not really know all that happened when he ordered the removal of Jennifer Jones on June 28.  It appears that they had no interested in what the Mayor of Quartzsite had to say about Tuesday’s events.

No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

No Confidence in Quartzsite Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 12, 2011

The following is an unsigned, undated letter to the Mayor, Town Council, and Citizens of Quartzsite, Arizona.  Being unsigned and undated, it has a questionable background and source; however, it is simply a short version of a complaint — a vote of No Confidence — in the Chief of Police that is supported by 10 of the police officers (80%).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Mayor, Members of the Council, and citizens of Quartzsite, Members of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association, representing approximately 80% of the department, met with AZPOST to make a formal complaint against Police Chief Jeff Gilbert.  These officers provided a detailed letter, outlining years of management abuses, misconduct, EEO violations, and political and criminal behavior against Chief Gilbert.  The Quartzsite Police Officers Association notified AZCOPS, who have also requested of AZPOST an immediate investigation of Chief Gilbert.

Some of the allegations against Chief Gilbert:

  •  “White-out” the town manager’s signature on their leave request forms, giving the appearance the town manager had not previously approved the initial request.
  •  Violating medical privacy acts under federal law.
  •  Uses his authority as the Chief to intimidate both officers and members of the community if they disagree with his methodology and political affiliation
  •  Chief Gilbert uses, or orders members of the Department to use NCIC to find “dirt” on political candidates or citizens supporting candidates the Chief Dislikes
  •  “Friends” of the Chief who have warrants for their arrests are not placed in Custody
  •  Officers are ordered to make traffic stops and arrest/cite citizens who the Chief believes are against him
  •  Disciplines members of the Department on how “loyal” they are to him; not on the merit of the investigation
  •  Ridicules and humiliates members of the Department he deems are “unfit” in front of others
  •  Promotes those who are loyal/friends of his in violation of Department/HR rules and policies

In the past few weeks, members of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association made it known to members of the Town Council and other agencies our concerns involving the conduct of Chief Gilbert.

We advised the Town Council not only of policy violations, but criminal violations against citizens as well.  We notified the Town Council that we have a vote of “No Confidence” in his leadership.

In the interest of town unity we did our duty, and reported our concerns to the Town leaders, with offers of supporting evidence, in an effort to allow them to take this matter into their own hands and away from ours.

We have realized that the Town Manager, Alex Taft, continually attempted to delay, stall or prevent this investigation from taking place.  Alex Taft and Chief Gilbert approached his own known associates at other agencies in an attempt to direct the investigation in his favor.  We believe her personal friendship with the Chief has blinded her to her responsibilities to the citizens of this community, keeping her from doing her duty to the Town of Quartzsite, and to the employees under Chief Gilbert’s direct supervision.

As an example, over the Memorial Day weekend, Town Manager Taft scheduled interviews with the employees of the police department to be conducted by an outside firm.  These interviews are being conducted by a law firm hired by the Town Manager to determine the reasons for a morale problem in the police department, and does not involve an investigation into the criminal allegations reported by your police officers.

The Town Manager and Council do not appear to take these allegations seriously.  Alex Taft has failed to follow the Town’s Personnel Policy, which would be to place Chief Gilbert on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation of the allegations.  Department policy requires an impartial investigator from the Department of Public Safety to conduct a fair and honest investigation.  Again this policy was disregarded by the Town Manager.

To those Town Council members that did listen and take the concerns to the Town Manager, the Quartzsite Police Officers Association thanks you for your efforts.  You have tried, as is your duty, to have an honest and thorough investigation of Chief Gilbert’s actions initiated.

We would like to assure the Town Council and the citizens of Quartzsite that, despite claims to the contrary, the members of the Association stand behind their allegations concerning Chief Gilbert’s conduct.  These employees of your town have continued to do their duty and protect the public safety.

Since the allegations were reported, the officers who made the report have been threatened and intimidated.  The officers have been told that the Town Council and the citizens of Quartzsite would demand the termination of all the individuals that have made this stand and signed the complaint.  When these threats were brought to the attention of the Town Manager, no actions were taken again in violation of Town Policy.

Left with little other choice, it is the duty of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association to inform the citizens of this community and the rest of the public that we do not stand behind Chief Gilbert, or condone any of his criminal actions, nor will we jeopardize our own careers by following orders we know are unconstitutional and by not reporting his criminal behavior.

It is apparent that a vote of No Confidence in Chief Gilbert is not enough to ask for his resignation with cause.  This issue is not a popularity contest, and neither the officers nor Chief Gilbert are running for election.  This is not about personal friendships or politics.  We that stand before you are reporting years of management abuses, misconduct, EEO violations, and political and criminal behavior by Chief Gilbert against employees of your town and your fellow citizens.  A criminal investigation by the Department of Public Safety is called for, not only by policy, but in fairness to all involved.

The Quartzsite Police Officers Association has always stood behind the Town of Quartzsite and its citizens, and we will continue to do so.  We are asking for two things: an immediate investigation of Chief Gilbert’s conduct by D.P.S. and, if the allegations against him prove true, demand his immediate termination.  We would request that the Town Policy be followed and Chief Gilbert be placed on administrative leave until the investigation is concluded.

Sincerely,

Quartzsite Police Officers Association

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now, you may be wondering why I would even consider posting such an unsigned, undated letter.  Well, because it is just the short version of what is included in a signed (by ten officers) and dated (May 10, 2011) letter in PDF format.  To read the longer letter and request for an investigation, QPD.PDF.

[Thanks to http://www.quartzsitenews.tv for the above and the PDF file]

 

Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 11, 2011

[Note: There have been many rumors flying around about the request for Mayor Ed Foster’s attendance at an illegal Town Council meeting, on Sunday, July 10, 2011.  To assure that what is occurring in Quartzsite, Arizona, doesn’t get blown out of proportion with rumors, speculation and falsehood, I contacted Mayor Foster, this afternoon, to make sure that the truth does come out, and unfounded rumors return to whence they came.  GH]

Mayor Ed Foster, of Quartzsite, Arizona, was invited to a meeting.  He chose to go to that meeting and felt that there was no duress involved in making him attend.

When he arrived at the Town Council chambers, he was standing just inside of the doorway when he heard the door shut and the lock click.  A photographer who had wanted to attend the meeting was barred by that action.

Dozens of Town residents held their ears to the door in an effort to hear what was transpiring in a meeting that the Mayor described as an illegal meeting, meeting only the quorum criteria, under state law, for a meeting.  No prior notice; closed meeting; no agenda — all of the normal requisites for openness in government had been dispensed with.

The results of the meeting, under the watchful eye of the Town Manager, Alex Taft, and Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert, was that those two appointed entities have superseded the elected officials (people’s choice), and placed the Chief of Police in charge of the Town, as an emergency measure.

The nature of the emergency is said to be fear, based upon threats received by various members of the Council, Town employees, and officials.  When asked if any of the threats came from Quartzsite citizens, the answer was that the threats were coming from all over the country, and from other countries.  There were, apparently, no threats at all received from any local people.

Why, then, does the emergency warrant a change in Town government from elected officials to appointed, and, presumably, unable to be recalled, only fired?  But, then, if they are in charge, who can fire them?

The attention that the recent incident involving the ‘arrest’ of Jennifer Jones has gone viral.  It appears that the politicians in the capitol, Phoenix, in both the Governor’s and the State attorney’s offices are beginning to listen to what they had refused to acknowledge, in the past.  This may also be true of the La Paz County Sheriff, who had sent officers to Quartzsite, with instructions to not get involved.

Now, if we are, truly, a nation of self-governed people, then it behooves the rest of us to understand that if it can happen in Quartzsite, it can happen where you are — just as those in Virginia realized that what was happening in Massachusetts could also happen to them, 236 years ago.

So, in light of the Founder’s willingness to participate in support of others who found themselves under the yoke of despotic government, lend what you can by calling, or, at least, emailing, those involved in this charade of government tyranny.

(For some information regarding recent activity, see http://www.quartzsitemineshaft.com/)

Government officials with the capacity to support the citizens of Quartzsite – Ask them to aid Mayor Foster:

Governor Jan Brewer: (602) 542-4331
online email link: http://azgovernor.gov/contact.asp

State Attorney General: Tom Horne (602) 542-5025 — Media Contact for SAG: amy.rezzonico@azag.gov
Also, Open Meeting Law Complaint Form  If you feel you have been the victim of or have information of Violations of the Open Meeting Law please file a complaint with our office.

La Paz County Sheriff, Don Lowery: (928) 669-6141 email: dlowery@lapazsheriff.org

* * * *

Bad guys – let them know what you think:

Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert: (928) 927-3889

Town Manager: Alexandra Taft:  (928) 927-3889

[Article on line at Illegal Town Council meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona]