Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Jones’

Town Manager Accused Of Embezzling

16 Jul

Alexandra Taft

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:

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 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


Town Council Hesitates On Check

10 Jul

At this morning’s town council meeting, Pat Workman challenged a check for about $11,000, set to be approved, on the council’s consent agenda. The final result was that the Council agreed to table the approval of that particular check. It will be addressed again at the next meeting.

At issue is the purpose and appropriateness of the expenditure, as well as Council member Workman’s free access to information for agenda items. Workman stated that her reasonable requests had been denied by staff. She needed to access basic information so she can vote properly but was told to fill out forms and wait. The check was to be issued to a private investigator to investigate local voters.

The consent agenda is often approved without discussion by the old guard council members. Newly elected members like Pat Workman, Mark Orgeron and Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster are expected to scrutinize Town expenditures more closely.

It became clear that the council would vote on whether to table the approval of this large check. Town Manager Taft stated “I don’t know if it’s alright, where it is in the system but I’ll make a note of it”, seemingly implying the decision might be hers.

The consent agenda is typically a group of checks to be approved together to save time at meetings. Each council member is given a “package” to review the checks and issuses early, so as to make an informed vote. At the meeting, any item on the consent agenda can be questioned and discussed.

Story and Video by Bill Moore, Southwest Desert News Quartzsite AZ – Thanks Bill!


Orgeron vs. Town Of Quartzsite Moves Ahead In Federal Court

05 Jul

Today Judge Roslyn Silver issued an order. Click on image to view.

Set your calendar for Thursday, July 12, 1:30 pm at the U.S. District Court in Phoenix for an Evidentiary hearing in the matter of Orgeron v. Town of Quartzsite.

This is the unusual federal lawsuit, possibly one of first impression, where Mr. Orgeron won a recent election for Quartzsite Town Council, but the incumbents refuse to seat him and the new Mayor! (Even though the incumbent Mayor finally resigned last week.)

The incumbents are (illegally?) spending a lot of the voter’s money to stay in power, claiming Mr. Orgeron is not qualified for the seat because, they say, he hadn’t been a resident for a year. Mr. Orgeron is seeking a Restraining Order from the federal court, ordering the incumbents out and he and Mayor-elect-in-waiting Ed Foster in.

It should be an interesting hearing Thursday because the Quartzsite Town attorney, in an earlier legal filing for a similar state action (now in the Arizona court of appeals), has argued that the time to challenge the qualifications of a candidate is BEFORE an election. Not after. (As the Town is doing here.)

Room 604. Case number is 12-CV-01238-PHX-ROS on PACER.GOV. (Most of the filings can already be downloaded for free via the Recap extension for Firefox or from the Recap archive.)


Town Leadership Angry Over Acquittal

03 Jul
Qtown Distress

Within four hours after his acquittal for unwarranted charges, the officials of the Town of Quartzsite expressed anger against Douglas Gilford. Quartzsite police officer Jim Schultz delivered THIS INJUNCTION to Gilford’s front porch. The Injunction states that Gilford basically cannot go near the “lobby” of Town Hall. That eliminates most services for this citizen. CORRECTION: Further, he must not call the Town of Quartzsite. (Can he call 9-1-1 ? Would he want to?) Gilford said he will burn his library card in protest, after he gets a permit.

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Posted in Qtown


Winslow Accused Of Threat

03 Jul

Michael Roth accused Joe Winslow (former Quartzsite Town Council member) of threatening him in the parking lot of Quartzsite Town Hall this morning. Witnesses confirmed Roth’s account to Officer R. Paterson.

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Posted in Qtown


Town Council Meeting Today June 26, 2012

26 Jun

Jose Lizarraga and Barbara Cowell were absent without explanation. Both are accused in a new lawsuit brought by La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman of criminally usurping their council seats. Until today, neither had stepped aside to allow newly elected officials Foster and Orgeron to assume those seats.

Story and Video by Bill Moore, Southwest Desert News Quartzsite AZ – Thanks Bill!


Dean Taylor Barred From Meeting

21 Jun

Town Hall style meeting held yesterday at a restaurant in Quartzsite. These meetings are held monthly on the third Wednesday of the month. It is not clear if all are invited to observe their Town Council
representatives respond to questions asked by the public. The meeting was announced by the Town on the bulletin boards as a “possible quorum”. This restaurant is one where various citizens have been asked to leave and not come back. Yesterday, Dean Taylor was reported to have been forcibly barred from attending the meeting.


Cowell Statement Challenged By County Recorder

16 Jun

“We have proof that there were (three) people who were dead who voted” was Barbara Cowell’s statement, speaking as “Vice Mayor” of Quartzsite. That statement seems to have been directly contradicted by Shelly Baker, La Paz County Recorder, in charge of voter records. SEE FULL STORY AND VIDEO

Cowell has made no known public release of the “proof”.


Press Release from Sam Vederman, County Attorney

15 Jun

Today Sam Vederman, La Paz County Attorney, released this further explanation of the previously reported court action initiated yesterday against Jose Lizarraga (Quartzsite Arizona “Mayor”) and Barbara Cowell (“Vice Mayor”).



“Oust” Mayor Lizarraga and V. Mayor Cowell!

15 Jun

Press Release:

La Paz Co. Attorney files civil action against losing Quartzsite Mayor
& Vice Mayor who refuse to leave office

At 3:56yesterday afternoon, La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman has filed a civil action of QUO WARRANTO against Jose Lizarraga and Barbara Cowell, case #CV201200082 in the La Paz County Superior Court.

QUO WARRANTO (“BY WHAT AUTHORITY”) After being denied the right to take office, Mayor Elect Ed Foster and Councilman Elect Mark Orgeron filed complaints with Vederman’s office claiming that outgoing Mayor Jose Lizarraga and Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell had usurped their office.

Pursuant to ARS12-2042, complaint CV-201200082 has been filed “Wherefore,
the State requests the following relief:
1. For a judgment of usurpation pursuant to ARS 12-2045 against defendant Lizarraga.
2. For this court’s order ousting and excluding defendant Lizarraga from the Office of Mayor of the Town of Quartzsite.
3. For a judgment of usurpation pursuant to ARS 12-2045 against defendant Cowell.
4. For this court’s order ousting and excluding defendant Cowell from the Office of Council Member of the Town of Quartzsite
5. For such other orders and relief as this court deems just and proper in the

This is history making legal move, as no other municipality in Arizona has an ordinance which sets limitations on who may run for public office, beyond those provided for in the Arizona Constitution Articles 7 &15, and ARS 9-232. A

(Vederman v Lizarraga and Cowell)

Jennifer “Jade” Jones

News you can use for Quartzsite and La Paz County, AZ!


Demonstration At Arizona State Capitol

14 Jun

Yesterday residents of Quartzsite trekked to Phoenix and made a public plea for assistance in resolving this town’s election crisis.



Quartzsite Mayor-elect Fears Violence

13 Jun

CLICK HERE TO SEE STORY where is reporting that a handful of people from Quartzsite Arizona gathered in front of the state Capitol Wednesday, carrying signs. Among them was Mayor-elect Ed Foster, who expressed grave concerns for the ill-will that the current town leadership has created. The signs carried messages pleading for help in Quartzsite in seating newly elected officials.


Disruptive Newcomers?

13 Jun

NO SHOWOur own “Vice Mayor” Barbara Cowell has now told KPNX she and other incumbents are “fighting against disruptive newcomers”. Is Cowell referring to the newly elected candidates? Cowell still “occupies” the council seat as “Vice Mayor”, without regard for the peoples’ majority vote for Mark Orgeron to replace her. Cowell is now a defendant in a suit brought by Orgeron in United States District Court to bring about rule of law.


Martin Brannan’s Phoenix File

11 Jun

Martin Brannan, Current Quartzsite Town Attorney

These events today. It is reported and confirmed in other local news sources that a file exists in the Phoenix prosecutor’s office for Martin Ellsworth Brannan. This file exists as the result of a request by La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman.

There was an incident at the May 22 Quartzsite Town Council meeting where it appears that Brannan may have intentionally assaulted Mayor Jose Lizarraga. This led the La Paz County Sheriff to take a report and make an investigation and report to Sam Vederman for potential prosecution. That investigation is complete.

Mr. Vederman has just stepped aside in his usual duty in evaluating the potential prosecution of this case. He declared that he has a conflict of interest. To be fair to the accused Martin Brannan, another agency must handle this case. So, the Phoenix agency will now consider the Sheriff’s report for formal charges against the current Quartzsite Town Attorney and Prosecutor Martin Brannan.

Vederman once worked in Brannan’s office before Vederman was elected in 2008, defeating Brannan. Hence, it appears proper for a disinterested prosecutor to evaluate the complaint against Brannan.


You Can’t Beat The Ride

11 Jun

“You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride”.  (A police officer to his arrestee. Overheard. Thousands of times over.) A well known expression among cops.  Once charged with a crime, even if the arrestee is innocent, “the ride” for the person wrongly charged is having to endure months of the agonizing and expensive court process.

Dishonest police and prosecutors use this tactic to punish people they deem deserving of punishment. They just arrest and charge them. This is only possible because the public places a huge amount of trust in their police and criminal  prosecutors. A lot of damage can be done to innocent victims by dishonest prosecutors and cops. Reputations and marriages and careers of their victms are wrecked.

With this much power, rarely does a prosecutor ever have to face real justice for his actions. However, like for Al Capone, justice can take many forms. For Capone, justice came as a prison sentence for income tax evasion instead of for violent crimes. For a crooked small town prosecutor, justice can come as an unexpected charge of assault against himself from the Mayor. Even a lawyer/prosecutor can’t beat the ride. His ride could even be worse. [Any similarity to real people or the Town of Quartzsite is purely coincidental. Editor]


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