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Quartzsite AZ Update - Mayoral election challenged - New Mayor-elect may be ineligible

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posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 09:56 AM
Latest update - Quartzsite AZ blog and update - September 22, 2011

This morning, something happened in the La Paz County Superior Court that few expected. Mayor Elect Jose Lizarraga was determined to be "unqualified" if he failed to obtain and file a bond prior to taking office, as required by Quartzsite Town Code. This was only one of several allegations made against him by third place mayoral candidate Jennifer Jones, who contested Lizarraga's eligibility for office.

Lizarraga had not filed the required response to the contest of the August 30th mayoral election, and did not show up to court today. Contestant Jones motioned for a default judgment, but Judge Michael Burke stated the law allowed for the hearing to proceed "ex parte".

No one was present to legally represent the interests of the town, after Judge Burke had granted them intervention for relief, in the event that Lizarraga was found ineligible under the law. However, Jones argued that:

"The arguments listed in the town’s motion to intervene were based on false premise. First, election contests were not known at common law and therefore they are purely statutory and are special proceedings, not actions at law or suits in equity. Harless v. Lockwood, 85 Ariz. 97, 32 P.2d 887 (1958); Brown v. Superior Court in and for Santa Cruz County, 81 Ariz. 236, 303 P.2d 990 (1956).
This means the procedure is strictly in accordance with ARS §16-671 through 16-678. Nowhere in these statutes is there a right of intervention and the parties are limited to contestor and contestee under ARS §16-673, 16-674.B, and 16-675. The Town of Quartzsite is not a party under these statutes."

Click the link above for the remainder of the story.

I still can't believe this is still on going. I have not seen any updates on the State DPS investigation into the Police Chief so im assuming that the investigation is ongoing. An injunction was filed and granted by the La Paz court to prevent any more officers who were suspended from being fired.

If the Mayor elect issue is confirmed, then Quartzsite will have to wit until the 2012 election cycle. The city council will be unable to appoint a Mayor, and the deputy Mayor will be required to perform the function of the Mayor minus the title and pay.

Part of this issue is heading to Federal Court after the city informed the La Paz County Court that they did not have jurisdiction.

With all the dips, climbs and left turns this incident has taken one could make a movie out of it.

*** For those who are curious as to what this thread is all about ***

Earlier this year the town of Quartzsite AZ erupted into the realm of political intrigue and mystery. The Mayor was elected on the platform of investigating and stopping fiscal mismanagement by the city council. During his investigation he has found that people in the city were receiving checks (payroll) yet providing no services.

Needless to say asshatery ensued, the city declared a state of martial law, police who questioned the chief's actions were suspended, public meetings were closed to the public etc etc etc.

Reference material for those to get caught up with all of the details -

edit on 13-10-2011 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 10:42 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

It's making me wonder just how high this collusion goes. Has there been any update on the investigation of the police, or will this drag on forever until it fizzles in everyone's memory?

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 11:10 AM

Originally posted by aboutface
reply to post by Xcathdra

It's making me wonder just how high this collusion goes. Has there been any update on the investigation of the police, or will this drag on forever until it fizzles in everyone's memory?

From what I have seen it looks like AZ DPS is still doing the investigation. In one of the links above you can find statements from 2 officers in addition to an overview of complaints from the other officers. If the allegations are true, its going to take some time to wrap up that investigation.

The court has placed an injunction though on the city / police chief from suspending / firing anymore officers, ruling the actions of the chief / city as hostile, resulting in an unfair / hostile enviornment. This issue covers multiple legal areas at the local state and federal level.

If anything I would prefer a thorough investigation be done rather than rushing charges. The result of this case will create case law on a few different topics. Case law is generally a bad thing but every once in a while it works out for the best.

The investigation into the City Council and some of their actions is Federal. The City has been warned many times by the County and State about violating open meeting laws. The ethics of the City Council would raise eyebrows in the Court of Caligua.

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