Desert Messenger

September 19, 2012

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September 19, 2012 By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear Police Chief Gilbert not fired, as earlier reported for 45 minutes. Anderson announced Tuesday, September 11th, the Town of Quartzsite Common Council held their regular meeting at 9am. Just as Council Member Patricia An- derson pounded the gavel, Asst. Town Manager contacted Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert notifying Gilbert he was fired. A press release, which was not autho- rized by Acting Town Manager Terry Frausto, was issued at 8:50am, before Gilbert had been notified. Council members obviously had no knowledge of the action taken by Johnson until after the meeting was adjourned. Sparks began to fly after the meeting, when council members and Frausto were notified that their Chief of Police had been fired with- out their knowledge. The press release posted on the town's website included the three- page letter of termination signed by Johnson. Gilbert, who was on vaca- tion with his wife, only discovered the letter was posted online when a member of the press later called him for an interview. Town Attorney Martin Brannan had not "approved" one of the items three council members had placed on Tuesday's agenda. Item 8 was to approve the hiring of an Interim Town Manager and replacing Terry Frausto, who became Acting Town Manager after Alex Taft was placed on paid administrative leave August 28th. Brannan advised the council that Item 8, as presented, was illegal and they have no authority to act. He added his statement to the agenda ex- plaining his opinion. Council did not take any action that morning, after be- ing in executive session with Brannan there was to be a Special Meeting Wednesday, Sept. 12th at 2pm. During Wednesday's Special Meet- ing Quartzsite Town Council ap- pointed Laura Bruno as Interim Town Manager. Frausto returned to her position as Town Clerk, and Brannan walked out of the meeting shortly after Bruno's appointment, saying "I'm fired!" In Friday's press conference, Bruno announced Gilbert was NOT fired, how- ever Johnson had been placed on paid administrative leave. She said the ter- mination letter was "inappropriate and unauthorized." Johnson joins Town Manager Alex Taft and Gilbert, who are all on paid administrative leave. The scathing letter accused Gilbert of Gross Negligence/Willful Miscon- duct and Insubordination. The letter also referred to the DPS investiga- tion dated July 13 in which Attorney General's Office refused to prosecute Gilbert, and only recently issued the Turn Down Statement and full 201-page DPS Report to the Desert Messenger. Alleged charges were: 1) Unauthor- ized Access to Criminal History, ARS § 41-1756. 2) Influencing a Witness, ARS § 13-2802. 3) Tamper- ing with a Public Document, ARS $ 13-2407(A)(2) in which "Detective Peter White understands and agrees that there is insufficient evidence to prove the crimes beyond a reason- able doubt." Reasons for the AG's turndown were 1) No Reasonable Likelihood of Conviction. 2) Witness Credibility Problems. 3) Inadequate Evidence of Corroboration and 4) Inadequate Evidence of Intent. Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite (PNQ) announced dates for the 4th Annual Rockin' in Quartzsite A Celebration of the Arts! Rockin' Reveal Artist Reception will be held Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 6:00-8:00pm at the "Rock Motel" (a beautifully transformed warehouse) at Tyson Wells Show- ground, 100 W. Kuehn, Quartzsite. Here is your chance to meet the art- ists who will have spent the previous two weeks painting and transform- ing a blank slab of rock into the most amazing Rock Art Piece! No peeking until Saturday, Nov. 3rd! The Theme for this year's event is "Our Beautiful Arizona". "Foster Parents" sponsor the Rock Art during the winter season, November thru February. Residents and tour- Page 11 4th Annual Rockin' in Quartzsite dates ists enjoy following the "Rock Map" published in Desert Messenger each issue, voting for the People's Choice Award at each location. If you fall in love with a Rock Art Piece, be sure to attend the "Rock Auction" held Saturday, March 2nd, 2013. This live auction is always a fun event!! (Location and time to be determined) PNQ is always looking for volunteers to help during the weeks of Oct. 20th -Nov. 2nd while the artists are painting. Through our Volunteer Eq- uity Program, volunteer time equals points, which equals dollars donated to the organization of your choice. In the past few years, Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite has donated to over a dozen local charities. Be sure to visit www.proudneighbors. com for more information. KBUX Quartzsite Radio 94.3 FM • Quartzsite's Favorite "CLASSIC HITS" • Local Information • Weather JOSEPH BRUNO • BACK FLOW SPECIALIST 115 N. Emelia, PO Box 581, Quartzsite ABPA Certified No. 29-00027 928-916-4965 775-790-3260 • 24 Hours Day / 7 Days Week! 928-927-5111 First locally-owned and operated music station in Quartzsite, Arizona. Proudly serving the communities of Quartzsite, Bouse, Brenda, Rainbow Acres, La Paz Valley and beyond, since 1988. Local Resident! Serving Quartzsite area!

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