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Archive for July 29th, 2011

FLASH!!!

29 Jul

Arizona Attorney General press release:

ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM HORNE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, July 29, 2011
Contact: Amy Rezzonico (602) 542-8019

Attorney General Horne Finds Reasonable Cause to Believe Open Meeting Law Has Been Violated in Quartzsite

PHOENIX (Friday, July 29, 2011) – Tom Horne, Arizona Attorney General, today released partial information regarding the Attorney General’s Office investigation of events in Quartzsite. Horne stated:
“Normally, we do not release the results of an investigation until it has been completed. However, because this is a matter of unusual public interest, we are prepared to say that, based on review of a video of a July 10 meeting, there is reasonable cause to believe that there has been a violation of the Open Meeting Law, inasmuch as the public was excluded. The meeting was held under the misconception that an emergency meeting can be conducted without the public present. Independently of the question of whether the Town Council had a legitimate reason to hold an emergency meeting, even proper emergency meetings must allow the public to be present. The exception is if there is a legitimate basis for an executive session, and the City Council did not attempt to hold a proper executive session during the emergency meeting. The investigation of this and other alleged violations of Open Meeting Laws is ongoing.”

Arizona Attorney General Finds Probable Cause To Investigate Quartzsite Council July 10 Secret Meeting

 
 

Discriminatory Law Enforcement? – CAMERAS

29 Jul

July 26 2011  9am  Town Council Meeting. The period right before or after the public meeting was not enforced uniformly.

Before the meeting started, video cameras were in use freely. After the meeting ended, again video cameras were in use freely. The public was still milling about in the meeting room. Four police officers had full view of the room. Rain Goldenbear, who is a known political supporter of police chief Gilbert and current council majority, was being  interviewed on video by another reporter. Officer Patterson looked on while standing behind Rain.

Soon, I moved with my camera running, to the front of the room to observe activity. Patterson now told me I cannot videotape. I questioned why I could not, and if he means just me? He responds that anybody running video must stop. He declined my invitation to make a public announcement to stop all video. I pointed to another videographer. Patterson called for his sergeant, so video was terminated to avoid citation or arrest. I do not understand what changed to disallow camera use at that point and the officer would not speak to it. It is now very unclear what the rules are for video in the meeting room. It appears that individual officers can decide the limits, rather than the law or the rules. The little signage that is posted is on the outside of the door, and does not match the town’s de facto enforcement policies. 

The text above was filed as a complaint with the town today.

 
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Mysteriously Missing Minutes?

29 Jul

A DVD has been sent to a division of the Arizona Attorney General. It includes: The Town’s video, My video in 3 files, and more.

The town’s video in one segment is 32 minutes long. It is believed that the video from the town was done from Sgt. Frausto’s body cam. He did not take a physical  position suitable for recording the town’s video, until Jennifer Jones and I had already witnessed approximately 9 minutes of meeting in progress, through the tinted glass door. During that time, the chief of police had been speaking to the seated council except the mayor.

The video which I personally recorded (3 segments) totals 42 minutes. This clock differential indicates that for some reason, the town did not offer the public the first 10-12 minutes of video of the meeting. Additionally, there were perhaps a few minutes before my camera was turned on and placed against the tinted glass door to take the video.

Note: It is remarkable too that all council members had been seated when the mayor arrived, as the last member to be seated. This indicates they were there for an unknown period of time before the mayor came to the door and looked inside, or before our video began. The mayor’s escorts were all just behind him, as he first approached the building.

 
 

Council Meeting Monday 10 am

29 Jul
Agenda for Quartzsite Town Council Meeting Aug 1 2011 Posting USPS

Agenda for Quartzsite Town Council Meeting Aug 1 2011 Posting USPS

This meeting notice pictured is not sufficient for open meeting laws in Arizona. No “Call to the Public” segment of the meeting is on the agenda.  It is posted at the Main Street Post Office.  Also, the online notice does not give the location of the meeting because the first page titled “Public Notice” is excluded. This meeting may be deemed illegal for violation of Arizona Open Meeting Laws.

 
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