SAMUEL E. VEDERMAN
Office of the La Paz County Attorney
1320 Kofa Avenue
Parker, Arizona 85344-5724
June 15, 2012
SAM VEDERMAN FILES QUO WARRANTO COMPLAINT
AGAINST JOSE LIZARRAGA AND BARBARA COWELL
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” - Samuel Adams
“A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law.” - Alexander Hamilton
“The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people .” - Thomas Jefferson
On June 4, 2012, at a special meeting, the majority of the Town of Quartzsite Common Council refused to seat Mayor- Elect Ed Foster and Council Member-Elect Mark Orgeron, by judging them unqualified to hold office, even though Foster and Orgeron received the highest number of votes in the May 15, 2012, runoff election.
Among the members of the Town of Quartzsite Common Council who voted to find Foster and Orgeron unqualified to hold office were three council members who either had not run for re-election, Mayor Jose Lizarraga, or who were not re-elected, Vice Mayor Barbara Cowell and Council Member Joe Winslow. Lizarraga voted in opposition to the majority of the council and Winslow resigned his office at the conclusion of the special meeting.
On Thursday, June 14, 2012, this office, in the name of the State of Arizona, filed a Quo Warranto complaint, in La Paz County Superior Court, against Jose Lizarraga and Barbara Cowell, who have yet to voluntarily relinquish their offices to Mayor-Elect Foster and Council Member- Elect Orgeron.
The Quo Warranto complaint alleges Mr. Lizarraga and Ms. Cowell have usurped, intruded into or unlawfully held or exercised public office by not vacating the offices of mayor and council member respectively, and that they continue to exercise control over those offices contrary to the law.
This office has requested the court issue a judgment of usurpation and an order ousting and excluding both Mr. Lizarraga and Ms. Cowell from their respective public offices and all other orders and relief as the court deems just and proper.
The legal action taken by this office was taken after much deliberation and in conformity with the intent of our Founding Fathers. There is no other choice, but to intervene in Quartzsite, in order to ensure the will of the citizens is carried out without any further unnecessary delay.
Once again, this office asks all citizens to remain calm and allow the legal system to enforce the transition of power through peaceful means.