On Thursday, July 12, newly sworn-in Quartzsite Councilwoman Patricia Workman filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General, alleging that Quartzsite Town Manager, Alexandra Taft, has embezzled public monies and engaged in felony Tampering with a Public Record. (See letter to Chief Special Agent Andrew Rubalcava, Special Investigations Section of the Criminal Division.
The incumbents are probably surprised at Councilwoman Workman’s boldness. She has proven herself to be quite a “sleeper.” She was the only one of three newly elected officials the incumbents seated after the May election. Perhaps they thought she couldn’t stand up to them by herself. But stand up she has. In last week’s council meeting, she tabled the issuance of yet another questionable large check that the Town Manager, Alexandra Taft, single-handedly may have issued to a private investigation agency. (Although speculation among locals is that the incumbents know all about the checks from yet another secret, closed (illegal) meeting. And Councilwoman Workman has reason to believe that the check has been sent, despite awaiting council action. They tabled the check’s approval.)
The private investigation agency is likely investigating voters who voted against the incumbents. A typical letter is posted here: http://aview.info/A-View/Library/PDF/QTZ-Town/LOYD/Loyd-12-06-28-Hergert%20Letter-AV.pdf
Councilwoman Workman has not just been standing up for the voters, now she’s moving forward, formally filing complaint for felony embezzlement by Town Manager Taft for issuing these checks to the Investigator without Town Council approval. Checks totaling more than $30,000, well over Taft’s discretionary spending limit of $5,000. There is no record in the Council minutes that Workman can find which properly authorizes these checks.
Councilwoman Workman also alleges that Taft committed felony record tampering when Taft refused to let Councilwoman Workman see the contract for the Investigator. According to Workman, Taft told the Councilwoman that she (Workman) had to file a Public Record Request to see the record! Never mind that Councilwoman Workman is a public servant. As such, Taft’s refusal to allow the Councilwoman to inspect the public record violates A.R.S. 13-2407(A)(5). A Class 6 felony.
And the Town Assistant Manager Al Johnsoneven refuses to let Councilwoman Workman into the
staff area to get her mail!
But that’s the typical lawlessness the voters voted to stop in Quartzsite. Councilwoman Workman ran on a platform with (now) Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster and Councilman-in-waiting Mark Orgeron. Despite an almost 50% voter turnout where Orgeron and Foster won a majority of votes, the incumbents refuse to seat them. (Even though the former Mayor finally resigned.) Orgeron is fighting for his seat in federal court and Foster is waiting for his seat via the State’s Quo Warranto action. (And yet another thwarted Councilman is fighting against an incumbent in the Arizona Court of Appeals!)
Councilwoman Workman can be reached at QuartzsiteRose@Yahoo.com. Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster can be reached at 928-750-8113. Agent Rubalcava can be reached at 602-542-3881.
Story contributed by Quartzsite Outsider