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Monday, August 15, 2011

QPOA v Quartzsite - case moved to federal court

Read the minutes: http://bit.ly/q8RnFq

At this afternoon's hearing between members of the Quartzsite Police Officers Association and town officials, defendants Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Town Manager Alex Taft, and Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson were no shows. They were represented by Justin Pierce, from the firm of Jackson Lewis, hired on the recommendation of the town's insurance.  He argued that the motion he had filed just this morning should be considered, despite the attorney for the Quartzsite Police Officers not even having seen it, let alone the opportunity to respond.

The Honorable Randolph Bartlett did not appear not impressed by this last minute maneuver, and proceeded with the hearing to show cause as to why the temporary restraining order should not remain while the officers are given proper due process in their administrative hearings. Presumptively, Bartlett may have given the defense attorney the opportunity to make that argument when his turn came, but things never made it that far.

Officer William Ponce was the first and only one to testify, and he detailed the conduct that resulted in ten members of the Quartzsite Police Department filing complaints against Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, and giving an official vote of "no confidence" in him. After having several objections overruled, the town's attorney asked to approach the bench. After several minutes of discussion between the judge and the attorneys, Judge Bartlett announced that the case has been requested to be moved to the US District Court in Phoenix. He ordered that the paperwork be filed within ten working days, and that the "TRO" remain in place.

13 comments:

  1. It's game over. Too many set backs and last minute maneuvers that reek of desperation. The criminals headed by soon-to-be eX-Police Chief Gilbert and the mafia gang, i.e. City Council, dug a whole so deep that all they can do is wiggle and turn. Soon this hole will turn into their grave.

    History will not be so kind to those who rob, threaten, intimidate, abuse, and do violence in the name of public service. Justice will be even harsher.

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  2. I understand that Sgt. Ponce did very well yesterday. I am disappointed that Judge Bartlett didn't take action against Taft, Johnson, and Gilbert for not showing up or for ignoring the TRO though. I guess the TRO means nothing unless it is enforced by the Sheriff's department.

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  3. Is it true that there are protected drug dealers in Quartzsite,and that the police only bust their customers,especially if they have assets?

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  4. See www.FEAR.org - for Forfeiture Endangers American Rights

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  5. Has Quartzsite town clerk Karen Norris been placed on administrative leave? If so,Why? Is she the sister of Quartzsite police officer Michelle Norris who filed a complaint against the chief?

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  6. Conley said:
    "I understand that Sgt. Ponce did very well yesterday. I am disappointed that Judge Bartlett didn't take action against Taft, Johnson, and Gilbert for not showing up...."

    As long as they were represented by counsel, there apparently was no requirement that the Q-town officials personally appear in court.

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  7. ED is right on this oneAugust 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    It looks like Quartzsite Finance Director Heidi Turner is going to have to show the mystery payroll checks to Ed Foster after all.See the ombudsman's finding today at www.qtown.us

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  8. Boy the Old Farts on the council sure do stink! The Federal Court will bash Greedy Goobery Gil and the fascists on the council. hehehe. The judge should have forced the defendants to show up at court, oh well, maybe next time.

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  9. When I sit quietly trying to make sense of the turmoil in Quartzsite, it appears obvious to me that one faction is ultimately going to prevail, if not by public acclamation, then by legal validation in the courts. Even though there is more than ample room for improvement, it’s fairly obvious that “right is on their side”. Some of these folks have styled themselves as “Political Activists”. Personally I have never encountered a “Political Activist” who wasn’t massaging their own ego with every public appearance or utterance, but if they want to be “Political Activists” fine, this is America, let them be.

    Chat with any self-anointed Political Activist and somewhere in their banter you’ll hear they are “standing up for their rights and the rights of citizens without a voice in the system”, or words to that effect. Can’t argue with that, there’s nobility there for sure. They link themselves rhetorically to a political “gold standard” that runs straight back to the founding fathers. Wrapped, as they are, in a self-constructed cloak of legal and political rectitude, they are unassailable in their invulnerability.

    Political Activists are just so much smarter than the rest of us. Certainly both sites of the Quartzsite feud have enthusiastically wrapped their arms around that particular proposition. The people who have power believe they are the sole arbiters of how to use it, or who to use it on, and the people who want power expend their energies trying to convince a confused constituency only they possess the intelligence, fortitude and honorable intent to get government working again for the good of the people. All in all, the entire situation reminds me of a funny little song from an old Marx Brothers movie called “Duck Soup” in which Rufus T. Firefly says,
    “The last man nearly ruined this place. He didn’t know what to do with it.
    If you think this country’s bad off now just wait till I get through with it.”

    The “Political Activists” are going to win this one because they should; justice is on their side. When you calculate “right” and “wrong”, the abuse of political power and police power trumps petty whining into a camera about the trivialities of simple trespassing by a Chief of Police who doubtlessly has something much bigger to hide.

    The only winners in this deal are the courageous first line police officers who stood up to corruption and so far have had to “take it on the chin”. They’re not self-employed, they’re not past retirement age collecting a pension, they are the only true heroes in this mess. They like our founding fathers put what is left of their careers on the line. They stood up to corruption and were not fount wanting.

    As for the “Activists” and the existing town power structure, no one is pristine in this fight and as I sit here wondering “Why?” I’m reminded again of a line from another movie. “What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny"? "Make yourself at home"? "Marry my daughter"? You've got to remember that these are just simple people of the land ... the common clay of the New West. You know – morons.”

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  10. Why is Jan Brewer not doing anything about this. Why doesn't the mayor just fire the "Y'all in trouble, boy" crooked cop "police chief," Gilbert? The county sheriff is supreme authority in his area, Swear out a warrant on Gilbert for dereliction of duty, false ejection from a Town Hall, false imprisonment of Ms. Jones and illegally confiscating personal property, e.g.: Mr. Roth's firearms.

    Since Winslow has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, why is he not being impeached and or arrested, for his crimes while in office?

    Mr. Roth's right to protect life and property is being usurped by a nutcase jackboot councilman and a split-tail "judge," because the nut-case is scared of what HE may do? All of his brains must be in those Dumbo ears, because there are clearly none between and behind his eyes!

    Grow some balls, mayor, and fire those criminals! Have the citizenry recall the ones involved, and keep the fired cops fired, for not obeying the mayor. This crap is getting out of hand in AZ, as well as the rest of the USSA.

    Answer Please!

    Robert and Carol
    Southern Maryland

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  11. I'm sure the video would be interesting if one could hear it!

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  12. Our town leaders and police expect us to do absolutely nothing for them to prevail in their criminal activity. We vow never to allow tyranny to prevail in this town. If these people think we are going to shut up and sit on hands, they are seriously mistaken.

    “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”!

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