Video shows that the Mayor adjourned the Quartzsite Town Council meeting last Tuesday May 22, after just 3 minutes. He started out of the building through the door leading into a hallway to the rear exit. He was closely followed by a large man in a hurry, who had just threatened to report the Mayor to the Attorney General. Surveillance video shows the large man entering the hallway just after the Mayor, with great momentum. A slow motion video taken by the Town surveillance video system shows you the rest. VISIT THIS WEBSITE – for slow motion and an analysis.
(The large man was the Quartzsite Town Attorney and Prosecutor Martin Brannan).
Four Years Ago Today, according to an article by the PARKER PIONEER, our own Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan was then dealing with controversy regarding the Larry Carlisle prosecution.
Michael Frame, attorney and public defender, was pointing out an ongoing controversy between Brannan and the La Paz County Board of Supervisors.
It was reported that the defendant Carlisle, a former technician servicing County computers, in 2007 had sharp words for Brannan and his office regarding saving and archiving e-mails and other records relating to cases. …
Frame said Brannan … … had presented Carlisle’s case to the grand jury before Brannan declared he had a possible conflict of interest. Frame told the Pioneer he believes these are serious matters….
An OPEN MEETING LAW VIOLATION COMPLAINT has been submitted to the Arizona Attorney General’s special Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team division (“OMLET”), directed to Christopher Munns. The complaint points out that the Quartzsite Town Council held an unscheduled meeting without public notice at approximately 10 am on May 22. This was just after the 9 am three minute regular meeting was adjourned.
The complaint also points out that the Town Clerk then posted audio for the 9 am meeting on its website, indicating by description that the 9 am meeting was not an “actual” meeting. The Town Clerk thereby boldly claims that the 9 am meeting never took place!
The Council’s conduct of their own meetings has drawn several complaints already this year. This in spite of a recent (forced) training class held for members. The Quartzsite Town Council is under a special oversight by the Arizona Attorney General (“AG”). For twelve months which began in January, the AG is observing whether our Council is capable of holding meetings without breaking Arizona laws. This is because last year the Council was found to have made a sufficient number of violations to warrant a reprimand and this oversight “probation”.
[Editor: Al Capone committed many unpunished violent crimes. Finally the courts were able to convict and imprison him on charges of income tax evasion. Similarly, the Council and the leadership in Quartzsite Town Hall has been viewed as committing many (so far unpunished) dishonorable acts against their constituents. An injury resulted in a Quartzsite police officer forcefully removing a woman who was speaking to the Council from the podium. The Council’s outright disrespect for the Open Meeting Laws could lead to consequences.]
The PARKER PIONEER IS REPORTING: “[Mayor] Lizarraga said he asked Town Manager Alex Taft to place Brannan on administrative leave”. This after the outrageous events on Tuesday at the regular Town Council meeting in Quartzsite. The hot issue was why the Council was not immediately going about certifying (canvassing) the election results and then installing the newly elected council members and mayor. Since that meeting, Town Manager Alex Taft has again delayed that certification by almost two weeks, at the written request of Council members JOE WINSLOW, CAROL KELLEY, & MIKE JEWITT.
Why have the newly elected Mayor and Council members not been seated?
Below is the text shown on the single piece of paper in the
photo. This memo was found posted on the Post Office bulletin board
late today. It is next to the posted Agenda for the June 4 Special
Meeting just scheduled.
“To: Terry Frausto, Town Clerk
Re: Special Meeting
Please set a special meeting to canvass the vote of the May 15 election for June 4, 2012 at 9:00 A.M.”
(Signatures, possibly those of Joe Winslow, Mike Jewitt, Carol Kelley)
The meeting could have been scheduled for today or tomorrow. The newly elected officers cannot be sworn in until the canvass takes place. The people are being made to wait. The names under the request above may clear up the question of whose idea it was to delay the canvass (certification) of the election results.
Jeff Gilbert, current Quartzsite Police Chief is under an ongoing investigation according to a confirmed report by the office of the Arizona Attorney General. Also, last year many of his honorable Quartzsite Police officers were fired after they proclaimed “NO CONFIDENCE” in Gilbert and made a list of accusations against him. Large claims against the Town of Quartzsite have been made as a result of more accusations concerning mistreatment of citizens by Gilbert and QPD.
Gilbert may soon be asking for your vote to make him La Paz County Sheriff. Gilbert has reportedly been issued the necessary papers to run for Sheriff in the fall election.
No Show. A special Council meeting was scheduled for Wednesday at 2 pm. The will of the voters (election results) was to have been officially “canvassed” (certified) by our representatives. Few Council members showed up to face a packed meeting room. No business was conducted for the voters. Adding insult to injury, the simple act of certifying the election results was then postponed for 12 days!
“You people are pitiful” was heard from the public.
Outgoing Vice Mayor BARBARA COWELL (photo) failed to appear.
Likewise, outgoing Council member JOE WINSLOW, NO SHOW.
NORMA CROOK was just appointed and could not show up for her first meeting!
CAROL KELLEY, another recent appointee, did not appear to certify the voters’
MIKE JEWITT, just sued for the circumstances under which he obtained his Council
seat, could not make it.
(“Outgoing” officials are those who received fewer votes than the prevailing candidates in last Tuesday’s election.)
Video and embedded comments copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News – Thank you!
“On Friday I asked Alex Taft to put a couple things on the agenda. These items were not put on the agenda. I feel that they are detrimental to some decisions that need to be made today. I am asking for a special meeting to be held at 1:00 with these items placed on the agenda. They were to canvass the vote and elect new officers. That is something that needs to happen I believe prior to making decisions on today’s meeting. With that being the case, the meeting is adjourned.”
Town Attorney Martin Brannan stormed into the back room after Mayor Lizzaraga. As a result, a La Paz County Sheriff deputy was called and did respond. The deputy remained in the back room area for about 20 minutes.
The Council and Town Attorney Martin Brannan later took their seats. Said Brannan:
“After the mayor said the meeting was adjourned I reviewed the Town Code, State Law, and had a conversation with an attorney at the Attorney General’s office. It’s my conclusion that this is a properly noticed meeting and that if a majority of the Council wishes to proceed with this meeting … they may proceed.”
[Editor: Friends that my wife and I encountered later yesterday were quite surprised to learn that the meetings had not ended after just three minutes, but had in fact endured for over three hours, until about 12:15 pm!! This turn of events does not seem to align with the Arizona Attorney General's policy that the public be given notice of all such meetings.]
Tuesday May 22 2012. Video copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News – Thank you!
Developing story… Dana Stadler of Quartzsite, was recently arrested at the police station where he was demanding information about a case. This arrest, as well as others, has again placed the performance of the Quartzsite Police Department in question. Current Chief Jeff Gilbert was directly involved in the arrests.
Today, Stadler received written notice that the court has dismissed all charges made by QPD, including felonies. Separately, Michael Roth also was arrested immediately afterwards. His cases were also dismissed.
Some say that one of the new council members-elect will be challenged for eligibility to accept office. The issue raised is whether the candidate qualifies, based on the one year residency requirement. If a challenge is filed, voters can thank our Town Attorney Martin Brannan. In his Response to Motion to Expedite, in the action brought against the Town and Mike Jewitt by Candidate John Prutch, Brannan has already adjudicated the issue:
“Challenges concerning alleged procedural violations of the election process must be brought prior to the actual election. Sherman v. City of Tempe, 202Ariz. 339, 342, ¶ 9, 45 P.3d 336, 339 (2002); citing Tilson v. Mofford, 153 Ariz. 468, 470, 737 P.2d 1367, 1369 (1987) (holding that “[p]rocedures leading up to an election cannot be questioned after the people have voted, but … must be challenged before the election is held”)(citing Kerby v. Griffin, 48Ariz. 434, 444-46, 62 P.2d 1131, 1135-36 (1936)).”
Quartzsite Election results are in. Dave wins. However, his advice to the photographer has been condemned by Donna Hale, La Paz County Elections Director. General election May 15 2012. Can Dave get any closer? Dave is said to be a Constable in another jurisdiction. This behavior resulted in a written complaint today.
It is estimated that two thirds of Quartzsite voters will mail in their ballot for today’s election. No wonder.
A last minute addendum to the agenda for the Quartzsite Town Council meeting to be held today at 9:00 am calls for exploring the establishment of a public high school campus here in town.
[The NOTICE of this late change to the agenda is not available online at the time of this report. The required public notice is another of the Town's many public postings in recent history which is not in accordance with Arizona Open Meeting Laws.]