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.