Desert Messenger

April 17, 2013

Desert Messenger is your local connection for news, events, and entertainment!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 23

4 Blythe Blues Festival planned for May 25 Blythe, CA - Eric Gales will headline the 2nd Annual Blythe River Blues Festival, which is scheduled for May 25, Memorial Day weekend, at Quechan Park in Blythe, California. Tickets are $15 and are now on sale at the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce, 145 N. Spring St., or online at Joining Gales on the bill will be The Record Company, Junior Watson, and Cadillac Zack. Returning to the Blythe River Blues Festival will be last year's headliner Fran Banish as well as local band South Main Street Blues Band. Boogiewoogie blues pianist Paul Winer of Quartzsite will open the show. Also performing to blues music between sets will be The Dance Yard's dance hip hop crew, DH2Crew. ERIC GALES HEADLINES BLUE FESTIVAL The gates open at 9 a.m. and the music begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 1 a.m. "As great as the show was last year, this time it promises to be 100 times better," said event cocoordinator Mike Evans. "We have an unbelievable lineup of bands from all over the country delivering a variety of blues all day and night." AZ Personnel Hearing officer recommends dismissal of Whistleblower complaint filed by former QPD officer Coatzee By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear Phoenix, AZ - March 27, 2013, Arizona State Personnel Hearing officer Harold J. Merkow filed his report, recommending to the State Personnel Board that Coatzee's Whistleblower complaint be dismissed. A hearing was held on February 25, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. Former Quartzsite Police Dept. (QPD) officer Anton Coatzee filed a Whistleblower complaint against the Town of Quartzsite after he was dismissed in October 2012. According to Merkow's 18-page findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendation document, "Coatzee submitted a 'Grievance' to thenTown Manager Alex Taft stating he felt his job was threatened during an August 2nd meeting with QPD Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia. Taft assigned the investigation of the "Grievance" to Al Johnson, then-Asst. Town Manager. Coatzee was still in his probationary employment period, as he was hired in October 2011. Chief Gilbert responded stating according Town Personnel Rules the complainant pre-empted the grievance process by not discussing his complaints with the Chief first. The August 2nd meeting was a meeting addressing performance Just Rambling... Save 69 Plus 2 FREE Gifts! % The Grilling Collection 45102GSL 4 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins 4 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops 2 (4 ½ oz.) Stuffed Sole with Scallops & Crabmeat 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (1 lb. pkg.) 8 (3 oz.) Gourmet Jumbo Franks 4 Stuffed Baked Potatoes Reg. $166.00... Now Only 4999 $ Plus 2 Free Gifts to every shipping address. FREE 6-piece Cutlery Set & a FREE Cutting Board. Limit of 2 packages. Free Gifts included per shipment. Offer expires 4/30/13. Standard shipping and handling will be applied per address. To order: or call 1-855-287-7399 ©2013 OCG, Inc. 15118 April 17, 2013 An Uncle had a horse called Three Legs. He was a one, two, three bump ride. A big horse that could hold three or four kids. When he had enough he thumped through the barn door and wiped us off, in a pile. A horse with a sense of humor. Provided by Elmer London & Desert Messenger issues with Coatzee and his supervisor. Johnson continued to investigate interviewing Chief Gilbert and Sgt. Garcia, without listening to the recording of the August 2nd meeting. During the investigation Gilbert, Taft, and Johnson were placed on Administrative Leave regarding unrelated matters. Taft & Johnson were ultimately dismissed from their positions. When Laura Bruno was appointed as Interim Town Manager on September 12, 2013, Sgt. Shultz was the Acting Police Chief. After being made aware of the complaint, Bruno listened to the tape of the August 2nd meeting and asked Schultz to listen to the recording. She also asked Parker Police Chief Mendoza to listen to the recording and compare it to Coatzee's grievance. According to Merkow, "Both Schultz and Mendoza told Bruno that Coatzee's grievance did not characterize the meeting accurately; that the meeting as an appropriate counseling session. They both recommended Coatzee not be given permanent employee status. Bruno concluded there was no shouting, browbeating or harassment as Coatzee complained and the two were "diametrically opposed." On October 10, 2012 Coatzee was released from his probationary position for "unsuccessful completion of your probation." Bruno did not consult with Gilbert or Garcia about her decision. Reasons for the hearing officer's recommendation include the fact that Coatzee was a probationary employee and the Town had vast discretion whether to grant permanent status or release him from employment. "If complainant could not be a reliable reporter about his own personal circumstances, the Town Manager could not expect that he would accurately and reliably report law enforcement contact information on official police paperwork." Arrayed against an employment history of low productivity and reprimands, along with Coatzee's misrepresentations about the August 2nd SEE RECOMMENDATION PAGE 21

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Desert Messenger - April 17, 2013