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New Councilman Mark Orgeron Prevails In Federal Court

21 Jul

Story contributed by Quartzsite Outsider

Late Friday afternoon federal Judge Roslyn Silver ruled in favor of Quartzsite Town Councilman-in-waiting Mark Orgeron, in the matter of Orgeron v. Town of Quartzsite.

At issue was the Town’s patently frivolous contention that Mr. Orgeron was not a resident of Quartzsite. Judge Silver was very  gracious toward the Town, giving it every benefit of the doubt, not getting angry or using the word “frivolous.” Nevertheless, it’s clear from what she wrote, (excerpts below), that the Town had no basis to prevent Mr. Orgeron from taking his duly elected seat. One hopes, given her statements, that she will award Mr. Orgeron attorney fees because the Town forced him into this action.

But it’s not quite over. Unfortunately, Judge Silver did not immediately order the Town to seat Mr. Orgeron, but told the parties to confer and offer a joint proposed order. Their deadline is Tuesday the 24th, the day of yet another Town Council meeting without the Town’s duly elected official in office.

(Mr. Orgeron had also sought to use this action to seat Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster. However, since Mr. Foster was not a party to this lawsuit, Judge Silver could not make a ruling to seat him one way or the other. Mr. Foster is still waiting on the state’s Quo Warranto action.)

Judge Silver’s Order can be downloaded  HERE .

Poignant excerpt below:

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The Court admits to some confusion regarding Defendants’ decision to disqualify Plaintiff based on these statutes.   There can be no serious dispute that Plaintiff had an “actual physical presence” in Quartzsite for close to three years prior to the election.

Defendants [Town] presumably had some basis for determining Plaintiff was not a resident of Quartzsite but Defendants chose not to present the Court with that basis.

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