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In a tell all and sometimes fanciful recounting of the last year and a half, Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan has filed a complaint with the Arizona Personnel Board. He is basically alleging a hostile work environment, that ironically, he helped to create, and mental anguish related to a preexisting 50% disability for "post traumatic stress disorder".
Brannan states that he was too mentally ill to attend his own hearing before the Quartzsite Town Council, and despite he and his wife being well compensated as town employees he could not afford treatment. According to Brannans claim, “Dr. Franklin ordered me to go to the emergency room for an immediate
psych evaluation as I had exceeded his ability to be of assistance…
Not being able to afford the $250 co-pay for the local emergency room …I
sent an email to Bruno explaining that I was not well.”
Brannan is demanding severance pay, and will likely pursue civil damages, however, A.R.S. Section A.R.S. §
12-2202 requires that “Persons who are of unsound mind at the time they
are called to testify shall not be witnesses in a civil action.” Likewise, Rule 35(a) of Arizona Civil Procedure states, “When the
mental or physical condition (including the blood group) of a party
[...] is in controversy, the court in which the action is pending may
order the party to submit to a physical or mental examination by a
physician or psychologist or to produce for examination the person in
the party’s custody or legal control. The order may be made only on
motion for good cause shown and upon notice to the person to be examined
and to all parties and shall specify the time, place, manner,
conditions, and scope of the examination and the person or persons by
whom it is to be made.” It is not known if there are similar requirments for the Arizona State Personnel
Board, or if any “testimony” Brannon gives in this matter or any other is even admissable.
He is demanding the following relief from the AZ Personnel Board:
1) That the State Personnel Board enjoins the Town of Quartzsite from terminating me with cause.
2) That the State Personnel Board orders the Town of Quartzsite to
change the termination to a without cause termination and pay the
severance owed as a result thereof.
3) That the State Personnel Board orders Laura Bruno to pay a civil
penalty of up to five thousand dollars to the Town of Quartzsite general
fund to be paid by Laura Bruno, not the Town of Quartzsite.
4) That the State Personnel Board finds that Laura Bruno committed a
prohibited personnel practice against Complainant, who disclosed
information that Complainant reasonably believed evidenced a violation
of any law.
5) That the State Personnel Board orders Laura Bruno to pay a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars.
6) That the State Personnel Board orders the Town of Quartzsite to dismiss Laura Bruno.
7) That the State Personnel Board bars Laura Bruno from any future employment by the Town of Quartzsite.
Brannan's contract was terminated on October 30th, "with cause" for the following reasons:
1. Violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys in the
State of Arizona, including a conflict of interest in violation of
Ethical Rule 1.7(a). You gave advice to Council of the Town Quartzsite
regarding personnel matters then initiated legal action against advised
Council members for failure to follow advice.
2. Material Misrepresentation to Town Council and Violation of Town
Procurement Code. Stating to Council on March 27, 2012 that there would
be no authorization to use town funds in connection with a voter fraud
investigation; You later claimed that you had authority to hire Mr.
Humphreys to perform an investigation without approval of the Council
for the expenditure and incurred expenses in excess of $8,000 on behalf
of the Town without authorization from Town Council, in violation of
Town Code Section 3-401H.
3. Attempted and actual abandonment of your position; Seeking to
abandon your position by repeatedly requesting notice of constructive
discharge from acting Town Manager Frausto; Abandoning your position by
packing your belongings and not returning to work.
4. Intimidation of Acting town Manager and coercion to acquire her
signature on a document purporting to recuse herself in regards to
5. Acting in violation of your duties of loyalty.
Brannan states that he was hired because "the Town was looking for a “hard-ass” town attorney", and that he "was advised the town was factionalized, but this was something of an understatement". According to Brannan, the recently released DPS report "provided
information from which a reasonably prudent person could conclude that Gilbert did misuse the NCIC and ACJIS and did tamper with a witness. The Town was asked, however, to hold on to the information
while it was reviewed by the AMRRP attorneys defending the federal
lawsuit involving the seven employees, so no action was taken
immediately upon receipt of the report." He claims the charge of witness tampering is being reconsidered for prosecution by the Attorney General's Office and discusses the reason that Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia were put on administrative leave this summer, "Gilbert and one of his sergeants, a female with whom he appears to be romantically, or at the very least, inappropriately involved,
had conspired to submit a time card for the charge which stated that
she had worked nine hours and taken one vacation hour on a day when the
Town knew that the sergeant was only in Quartzsite available to work for
no more than six hours." This charge was subsequently stated by the town to be unsubstantiated and Garcia returned to work with QPD.
Brannan also claims that Councilman Mark Orgeron orchestrated open meeting violations, and that Orgeron's choice for "Interim Town Manager", CASA pension schemer Laura Bruno intimidated town employees, and engaged in prohibited personnel practices.