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Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quartzsite Police investigating arson-involved homicide

The Quartzsite Police Department is investigating an arson-involved homicide that occurred on the evening of August 23rd, 2012 at the Desert Edge mobile home park, in Quartzsite. 
The victim has been identified as Linda Dale Garrett, a 65 year old white female, a Quartzsite resident. Anyone having information that they feel would be helpful to the investigation, please contact the Quartzsite Police Department Administration Office at 928­927-4644 during regular business hours, or Central Dispatch at 1-888-818-4911 after business hours.
Sergeant James Schultz, Acting Chief of Police

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Unofficial results La Paz County elections August 28, 2012

Unofficial Election results for La Paz County 
were released with all 12 precincts reporting.

With 9621 registered voters in the county, 2375 ballots were cast on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012. 
Voter turnout was 24.69%. 

La Paz County Supervisor Races:
District 1: Mesena "Missy" Gilbert (Dem) will face D.L. Wilson (Rep) in November. Gilbert received 158 votes. In the Republican race, Wilson got 285 votes, Steve Madoneczky 171.

District 2: Richard Dinolfi (Dem) will face King E. Clapperton (Rep) in November.
Democrat Dinolfi received 180 votes. In the Republican race, Clapperton received 201 votes, Anna Camacho 178,  Monty Rust 151, Lyle Browning 132, Pat Jones 126.

District 3: There was no Democrat candidate. In the Republican race, Holly Irwin received 212 votes, Blain Harold 177, Jennifer Jones 55.

County Attorney: Republican Sam Vederman ran unopposed and received 1251 votes.

La Paz County Sheriff: Candy Escorza ran unopposed in the Democratic race. In November, she will face John Drum (Rep) who received 859 votes. Ken "Packy" Schwab (Rep) received 817 votes.

County Treasurer: Republican Leah Castro ran unopposed receiving 1372 votes.

County Recorder: Republican Shelly Baker ran unopposed, receiving 1385 votes.

County School Superintendent: Janice Shelton (Rep) won her race with 1077 votes. Jim Cleere received 446 votes.

County Assessor: Democrat William "Squeak" Kossnar ran unopposed in his race receiving 441 votes. He will face Republican Sharon Schuler who also ran unopposed, receiving 1291 votes.

Confusing press releases from Town of Quartzsite regarding Chief Gilbert investigation

Quartzsite, Arizona - During Monday's Town Council meeting, Town Manager Alex Taft reported no agency had decided to investigate Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia. 

Monday afternoon, the town issued the following press release stating DPS had decided to investigate.

"Today the Town of Quartzsite has given the evidence to DPS in the matter of the investigation into Sgt. Garcia and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. DPS will be investigating this matter rather than another law enforcement agency as suggested in the August 27, 2012 Council Meeting."

Tuesday afternoon, before being placed on administrative leave, Taft release the following press release stating DPS is still considering the issue.

"The Town of Quartzsite has turned over evidence regarding the investigation into Chief Gilbert and Sgt. Garcia to DPS. DPS is still considering the matter for review."  

Chief Gilbert and Sgt. Garcia were placed on administrative leave Thursday, August 23rd pending results of an investigation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quartzsite Town Council places Town Manager Alex Taft on admin leave

Quartzsite, Arizona - It was a Special Meeting that was supposed to happen last Friday, but Town Attorney Martin Brannan challenged the legality of the agenda. It was rescheduled for today at 3pm. But Brannan asked La Paz County Superior Court Judge Burke to step in and place a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Town Council from acting on the items on the agenda.

Reports of the judge signing the TRO prematurely created confusion at Town Hall, staff, council members and the public. Judge Burke signed the restraining order about an hour before the meeting was to begin. Council members were served the TRO paperwork as they entered the Town Hall just prior to the meeting.

Five of the six current members of the Quartzsite Common Council appeared at today's meeting. (Carol Kelley was absent due to medical issues). According to Judge Burke and Brannan, the council could only discuss and take action on one of the four items placed on the agenda.

Only Item 1 was open for discussion; regarding discussion and possible action on the services of Town Manager Alex Taft. Brannan and Council Member Mark Orgeron argued about the limitations placed upon the council by Burke. Brannan said the council could only terminate Taft without cause and without discussion. Orgeron disagreed, saying he interpreted Burke to say they could not discuss the other three items. Council had hoped to discuss services of Asst. Town Manger Al Johnson and reinstating Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia.

Council member Norma Crooks motioned to go into executive session for advise from the attorney. Brannan advised the council they could not got into executive session, because the notice had not been placed on the agenda, let alone any agenda in the past year. Brannan challenged council to find any agenda in the past year that contained the notice.

Council member Mark Orgeron then proceeded to read the notice on today's agenda pursuant to ARS 38-431.03 (A)(2), 38-431.03 (A)(3) and 38-431-03 (A)(4). Brannan then advised the council they could not go into executive session because they did not specify the statute, even though Orgeron had just read the statutes.

Council adjourned into executive session and when they returned, voted 4-1 (with Mike Jewitt voting nay) to place Taft on paid administrative leave at the end of the meeting. No reason was given. Council explained the limitations on Taft while being on paid admin leave. Council announced Terry Frausto, Town Clerk, would be the interim Town Manager and shall have no contact with Taft regarding town business.

As Taft was leaving at the end of the meeting, many people applauded.

Election results Aug. 28, 2012 Quartzsite and La Paz County

Parker, AZ - With 8 out 12 precincts reporting unofficial results of today's election are posted online. La Paz County has a new website with the election results.

Check it out here:

The Republican race for Sheriff between John Drum and Ken Schwab is too close to call with each receiving around 50%

District 1 Supervisor Republican Race: DL Wilson is leading Steve Madonecsky.

District 2 Supervisor Republican Race: King Clapperton is ahead of Anna Camacho with Monty Rust, Pat Jones and Lyle Browning following.

District 3 Supervisor Republican Race: With only 2 of the 6 precincts reporting: Holly Irwin leads Blain Harold and Jennifer Jones.

For more results check out La Paz County Elections on the link above.

Protect yourself from West Nile virus


La Paz County, AZ- The current West Nile virus outbreak is the largest in history and La Paz County Health Department wants to remind residents and visitors to take precautions against mosquito bites. “In this area, mosquito activity peaks in mid to late August,” said Marion Shontz, Director of the La Paz County Health Department. “Most mosquitoes do not carry the West Nile but some do and it is our goal is to prevent mosquito bites in the first place.”

Mosquitoes in La Paz County first tested positive for West Nile virus in 2003 and have maintained a presence since then. There are currently 1118 human cases of West Nile virus in the US with the majority of them being in the state of Texas and only 12 of them in Arizona. La Paz County does not have any human cases of West Nile virus. With the rise in human cases it is important for residents to remember to take precautions while outdoors. Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has a website with prevention messages on

Prevention techniques in preventing West Nile virus
Avoid Mosquito Bites
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors at dusk and dawn. 
  • Use a mosquito repellent, following label directions, when outdoors.

Mosquito Proof Your Home
     Remove all standing water
·       Turn over plastic containers, ceramic pots, tin cans, and other similar water-holding containers.
·       Remove discarded tires from your property (used tires are one of the most common mosquito breeding sites).
·       Turn over plastic pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
·       Change the water in the bird baths, pet dishes and flower pots at least twice a week.
·       If it is impossible to remove standing water (ponds, waterways) briquettes that inhibit larvae maturity are available at local hardware stores.
·       Check window screens for holes. Or try attracting animals that naturally feed on mosquitoes by building birdhouses, bat-houses, or filling ponds with mosquito larvae eating fish, called mosquito fish.

Monsoon rains can provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes who often travel several miles for a blood meal. Interestingly, only female mosquitoes rely on blood for sustenance while male mosquitoes feed on nectar. It takes 10-20 days for a mosquito to go from egg to adulthood.

West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness and has been found in 48 of the States.  Most people who are infected with West Nile virus experience no symptoms or may experience mild illness such as a fever, headache, and swollen glands 3 to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.  It is estimated that 1% of people bitten by an infected mosquito will develop encephalitis, inflammation of the brain.  Symptoms of encephalitis include high fever, headache, muscle weakness or paralysis, seizures, and confusion.

The La Paz County Health Department is committed to serving and educating the community of La Paz County on all public health issues. For more information please stop by the office at 1112 Joshua Ave suite 206 or give us a call at 928 -669 -1100.  For those online please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at or

Monday, August 27, 2012

Today in the Quartzsite political drama

UPDATE on today's events, Monday, August 27, 2012, Quartzsite, Arizona

This morning Town Council met and adjourned every item on the agenda until a Special Meeting or another meeting. The 2012-2013 Budget was not approved today. Council member Mark Orgeron explained the town could work off of last year's budget until it is approved.

Orgeron also announced three council members had asked for a Special meeting to be held on Saturday, but that didn't happen due to objections of the Town administration, so he and two other council members are scheduling a Special Meeting for Tuesday, August 28th for 3pm.

Tomorrow's agenda was posted online with many additional statements from Town Attorney Martin Brannan, who did not "approve" of the agenda. The Town Clerk also "refused to sign" the agenda. SEE BELOW:



In an attempt to stop tomorrow's meeting for occurring, Brannan filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order this afternoon against Quartzsite Town Council Members in La Paz County Superior Court. 

Some council members were given, not officially served, a copy of a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order without Notice from Town Attorney Martin Brannan. One council member received a copy via fax, however there is no signature of any judge nor the Town Attorney.

Brannan is seeking to block council from terminating Town Manager Alex Taft EXCEPT without cause and without discussion unless and until she is given a precise statement of the allegations constituting cause for her termination.

Item 1 on the tomorrow's agenda is "Discussion and possible action on the services regarding Alexandra Taft". The injunction asks that any and all persons in active concert or participation with council be restrained on all actions as well.

Brannan is seeking the court to stop the removal or suspension of Asst. Town Manager Al Johnson, as well as not allowing the council to reinstate Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia.

Brannan states every reasonable effort has been made to notify defendants of this motion, including by telephone. He also states defendants are not known to be represented by counsel.


Late this afternoon the Town of Quartzsite issued a short Press Release stating DPS will be investigating the reason Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia were placed on Administrative Leave last week. 

"Today the Town of Quartzsite has given the evidence to DPS in the matter of the investigation into Sgt. Garcia and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. DPS will be investigating this matter rather than another law enforcement agency as suggested in the August 27, 2012 Council Meeting."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Earthquakes rock Quartzsite Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 -  Quartzsite residents felt a series of earthquakes, called an Earthquake swarm, which were centered in Brawley, California. Early in the day, locals reported feeling the largest of many throughout the day, which measured magnitudes 5.3 and 5.5.

More than 300 quakes and aftershocks have been recorded so far at the same approximate epicenter, about 16 miles north of El Centro, according to preliminary reports from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The U.S.G.S reported a series of stronger temblors, with a 4.9 magnitude quake striking at 9:41 pm. followed by smaller ones registering at 3.4 and 3.7.

The swarm will “definitely last for days,” and it is possible but unlikely that it could continue for weeks, California Institute of Technology seismologist Egill Hauksson said.

There were no reports of injuries or significant damage. Power went out at the Pioneers Medical Hospital in Brawley, but has been restored. 

There were no reports of damage in Quartzsite; just a few rattled nerves.

The L.A. Times updated their information in the evening:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Quartzsite Council Special Meeting on hold after Town posts press release

Quartzsite, Arizona political drama continues! Council Member Carol Kelley told Desert Messenger, "as far as I know, there will be no meeting today." Council Member Mark Orgeron told there will be no Special Meeting today, originally scheduled for 4pm.

To recap the yesterdays events leading up to today:

Yesterday three Quartzsite council members (Mark Orgeron, Carol Kelley, and Norma Crooks) called for a Special Meeting for 4pm today.

Items on the agenda were: discussion and possible action on the services of Town Manager Alexandria Taft; and discussion and possible reinstatement of Police Chief Jeff Gilbert.

The signed letter was delivered to Quartzsite Town Hall yesterday afternoon between 1:30-2pm, well within the required time limit of 24 hours notice.

Town Hall did not attempt to post agenda online and/or at regular posting locations, but later posted a "press release" on the website.

Council members obviously did their job, following Arizona statutes to make a reasonable and practical effort to notify the public. Sources report that all eight posting sites in Quartzsite had the required agenda posted before 4:00pm yesterday afternoon.

Town Hall videos will prove exactly when two council members arrived at Town Hall between 1:30-2:00pm to deliver the letter, when the agenda was posted at Town Hall before 4pm, and who removed it before 4:30pm.

Videos will prove when the agenda was posted at QPD before 4pm and who removed the posting before 4:30pm.

Desert Messenger was handed (in person) a copy of the letter for publication at approximately 2:30pm. Desert Messenger published the meeting announcement online at at 3:13pm, posting also to Facebook to over 300 fans and to almost 800 Twitter followers, including multiple media outlets.

According to multiple sources, by 3pm yesterday all Quartzsite council members had been notified of the meeting and items on the agenda to be discussed.

Town Hall posted a "Press Release" on their website yesterday afternoon. The document named " Docs/Press Release TA Brannan.html", does not contain the name of the person issuing the press release, nor was it sent to local press. However both Taft and Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan have since claimed the press release was written by Taft.

The press release stated Brannan advised council members that the meeting, if held, would violate the open meeting law and that if they attend the meeting, and his advise is correct, they will be intentionally violating the open meeting law. It was stated they may also be fined and possibly be removed from office.

The press release also stated that Quartzsite staff will not be attending today's meeting.

Kelley said, "we have to let the public know that we're not having the meeting today." She said there will be someone at Town Hall to answer questions for anyone who does show up. 

The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 27th at 9am at Quartzsite Town Hall.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quartzsite Town Manager, Alex Taft posted Press Release challenging tomorrow's council meeting

Quartzsite, Arizona - A press release was found posted on the Town's website tonight. This "Press Release" was not sent to local media Desert Messenger. (The original headline stated the press release was from Martin Brannan)

UPDATE: According to Alex Taft, "Apparently there is confusion; I have press releases reviewed, but I write them." Notice the file name is:

Martin Brannan told Desert Messenger, he didn't know why his name is in the file name. "I assume the clerk made a mistake. Only the Town Manager has the authority." 
Desert Messenger apologizes for an inconvenience this may have caused.

According to the press release, Quartzsite Town Attorney is advising council members not to appear at tomorrow's Special Meeting called by council members Mark Orgeron, Carol Kelley, and Norma Crooks. Brannan states notices had not been posted in all of the physical locations required by Town Code and no notice of the meeting had been posted on the Town's website (which the council does has the authority to do). The press release stated, "not all members of the Common Council had received personal notice of the meeting as required by law."

However, according to one council member, all council members had been notified by 4pm today, either in person or by phone.

Three council members called for a Special Meeting to be held Saturday, August 25th at 4pm at Town Hall. The signed letter was hand delivered to Town Hall between 1:30-2:00 pm today, according to sources. The letter is posted at

According to Town Code Section 2-4-2 Special Meetings, "Common Council may, upon written request of three of its number, convene a meeting thereof at any time after giving twenty-four (24) hours notice of such meeting to the Mayor and other Members of the Common Council and the general public. The agenda of any such meeting shall be subject to the approval of a majority of the Members of the Common Council and any special meeting called upon the written request of three Common Council Members shall not proceed in the absence of a quorum and approval of one or more agenda items by a majority of the common Council."

The press release states the "Town Attorney has further advised Town Staff that anyone who knowingly aids, agrees to aid or attempts to aid another person in violating the open meeting law is subject to being fined and, where the violation is intentional, be subject to also having to pay the fees of the party bringing judicial action for the violation."

The press release also stated "in order to avoid civil liability for aiding, agreeing to aid or attempting to aid another person in violating the open meeting laws, Town Staff will not be attending the meeting."

"The Attorney General's Office has been advised of the potential open meeting law violation and the fact that the Town Attorney specifically advised the three members calling the meeting that the meeting could not lawfully be held."

Taft stated the Town will report the meeting as being in violation of open meeting laws in the event that it is held in "contravention to the Town Attorney's advise."

Quartzsite Town Council Special Meeting called for Sat. Aug. 25, 2012, 4pm


Quartzsite, Arizona - Three Quartzsite Town Council Members have called for a Special Meeting for Saturday, August 25th, 2012 at 4pm, Town Hall.

The document was filed at Town Hall early this afternoon, but has not been posted on the town's website as of 3pm today.

Council Members Mark Orgeron, Carol Kelley and Norma Crooks signed the document today.

Items to be placed on the agenda shall be:
1. Discussion and possible action on the services of Alexandra Taft [Quartzsite Town Manager]
2. Discussion and possible reinstatement of [Quartzsite] Police Chief [Jeff] Gilbert

Quartzsite Police Dept. to conduct traffic enforcement over Labor Day weekend

The Quartzsite Police Department, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will be
conducting traffic enforcement details over the Labor Day holiday weekend. They will be enforcing speed, seat belt, aggressive driving and DUI laws.

The penalties for DUI can include loss of your driver’s license, expensive fines, jail time, increased insurance rates, possible loss of life or injury and having your name published in the local paper.

Quartzsite Police Department asks that if you drink, please be responsible.

Don’t drink and drive, make sure to have a designated driver and wear your seat belt at all times.

Sgt. James Schultz
Quartzsite Police Department

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quartzsite Town Manager Alex Taft places Chief of Police Gilbert on administrative leave

Quartzsite, Arizona - Town Manager, Alex Taft has placed Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sgt. Fabiola Garcia on paid administrative leave today pending the results of an investigation.

In a press release issued by Town of Quartzsite this afternoon, Taft states Sgt. James Schultz is acting Police Chief until the return of Chief Gilbert or an appointment of an interim Chief.

According to the press release, "There will be no reduction in the number of patrol officers and the police department will be able to respond to the needs of Quartzsite residents while this investigation is ongoing."

"It is the policy of Town of Quartzsite not to reveal the nature of uninvestigated and unproven allegations. The placement of Chief Gilbert and Sergeant Garcia on administrative leave was done purely to facilitate a speedy investigation and not as a form of punishment."

"The Town urges the public to treat both Chief Gilbert and Sergeant Garcia as innocent of any wrongdoing while the investigation is ongoing."

Desert Messenger reached out to Taft for comment, but has not received any further comment. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

La Mesa RV plans to hire for stores including Quartzsite

La Mesa RV Center’s Growth Plans Spurring Hiring Demands

San Diego, California – La Mesa RV is rapidly gearing up for the winter RVing season with immediate plans to hire over 140 full-time employees across its stores in California, Florida and Arizona.  Positions are currently available for service advisors, RV service technicians, parts and sales.

Jim Walters, President of La Mesa RV commented, “we’ve seen an upturn in our business.  Our goal is to provide each of our customers with an extraordinary sales and service experience and to achieve that goal, we must find additional employees to fill a variety of positions.  In addition, we have some expansion plans underway and we need to fill positions so that those employees can be fully trained prior to new stores opening.”

Currently the company has stores located in San Diego, Davis and Dublin, California; Mesa, Tucson, Avondale, Yuma and Quartzsite, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico plus Sanford and West Palm Beach, Florida.  Walters further stated that “our stores are strategically placed in markets that may be seasonal but this allows us to move inventory and personnel to the market that is the most active.”

Candidates interested in pursuing any job opening at La Mesa RV are encouraged to check out for current position listings.  Additionally, resumes are being accepted via email, surface mail or in-person applications at each of the company’s stores.

La Mesa RV was founded in 1972 in La Mesa, California, a suburb of San Diego.  The company has grown from the single location to eleven locations found in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida.  The company counts over 700 employees that are involved in all facets of the business from sales, marketing, advertising, business office, detail, service and transportation.  The company’s Core Values reflect it’s positive work atmosphere and focus on family.  Core Values are: Fun, Attitude, Make Their Day, Integrity, Listen and qualitY.

For more information about the positions that are currently available, please see the “About Us” section on the web site at or email a resume to

AWC offers new website for career students and employers

New site enhances career services offering 
to students and employers

Yuma, AZ  - The Career and Advisement Services at Arizona Western College (AWC ) is pleased to announce the launch of a new website located at:, which will further enhance the services offered to Arizona Western College students, alumni and employers.

Powered by CSO Research's Interfase system, this new site streamlines student and employer registration, resume referrals, document management, placement tracking, job posting and management, onsite recruitment, and career events management.  As a result, students have 24/7 access to easily register, search jobs, send online inquiries, and manage multiple resumes, cover letters, and other employment related documents.  Employers can quickly and easily post on and off campus employment, internships and volunteer opportunities to AWC Students and Alumni.  Employers can choose to receive "online applications" directly from the system with current resumes attached, sign up for career fairs and much more.

"We are very excited about the launch of this new website as it exemplifies the focus of our office on supporting the needs of AWC students, alumni and employers.  By implementing this new system we will continue to enhance our services related to full-time employment, internships/cooperative education, student employment, volunteer service learning, federal work-study, alumni employment and more", said Jim Hutchison, Director of Career and Advisement Services.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quartzsite's Jennifer Jones at Meet the Candidates 8-18-12

Quartzsite, Arizona - "Politics in Quartzsite is not for the weak," said Jennifer Jones, candidate for La Paz County Supervisor District 3. She stated she had a speech prepared and threw it out.

Instead of using her three minute speech to influence voters, Jones, "as fast as an auctioneer" chose to respond to an article by Violet Kiss which was published in Wednesday's Desert Messenger. (You'll notice Jones ignored the moderator's attempt to keep her speech to the allotted three minutes.)

Jones challenged voters to "Fact-check us."
So here are some facts about her stated claims:

FACT: Jones HAS sued the town at least TWICE
("Lawsuit" definition: A claim or dispute brought to a court of law for adjudication.)

FACT: June 27th is NOT this month.

FACT: Jones HAS refused to get a business license. Jones conducts business in two different trades without a current business license. One is for her A Fur Salon, advertised in her other business, The Desert Freedom Press.

FACT: Jones placed a copy of her cancelled check on a table between us and did NOT attempt to "hand a copy" to me. A cancelled check just shows her attempt at getting a business license for the dog grooming business.

FACT: Everyone knows she does "not need a license to give away a free newspaper." However, conducting business, soliciting for advertisements, etc. is a totally different issue than just "giving away a free paper". Quartzsite Town Code Article 8-2 states "It is unlawful for any person to carry on any trade calling, profession, occupation or business, specified in this article, without first having procured a license from the town to do so"

FACT: Jones stated she resides in BLM Long Term VISITOR Area (LTVA). However, once again, witnesses reported seeing her drive to Richard Oldham's compound north of I-10 (in District 2, not District 3) late last night.

FACT: BLM allows VISITORS to camp on 11,000 acres of dispersed camping area from Sept. 15 thru April 15 (7 months, not 8). Between April 16 and September 14, you may stay in an LTVA only 14 days in any 28-day period. After your 14th day of occupation at an LTVA, you MUST MOVE outside of a 25-mile radius of that LTVA. As Jones said, "This is within the absolute letter of the law."

FACT: Jones ended saying, "Stop by and see me; you know where to find me." Really?
According to BLM, there are total of three campers in all of that 11,000 acres and she's not one of them. So Mrs. Jones, where do you actually live? After all, you invited everyone to stop by and see you.

(The whole video of all the candidates' speeches should be available tomorrow)

  "What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside of you." ~ Wayne Dyer

AG declines prosecution of Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert based upon DPS investigation

For Immediate Release: Statement from Quartzsite 
Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert on DPS Report #2011-027462

Quartzsite, Arizona - On August 13, 2012, I received a completed copy of the criminal investigation conducted by the AZ Department of Public Safety (DPS) against myself and Sgt. Xavier Frausto. This report included the "Turndown" notice declining the case by the AZ Attorney General's Office, dated July 12/13, 2012. The allegations and complaint was initiated by then Quartzsite Mayor Ed Foster.

The case was declined for the following reasons stated by the turndown report as: "Victim/Witness Credibility Problems"; "Inadequate Evidence of Intent"; "Inadequate Evidence of Corroboration"; and "No Reasonable Likelihood of Conviction".

This is the third criminal investigation I have been subjected to along with members of my department from false allegations and complaints made by then Mayor Ed Foster. I have been exonerated, along with the other members of the department each time. Sergeant Xavier Frausto has served this community for nearly twenty years with his complete dedication to the community.

I have documented evidence that Ed Foster participated with another party and submitted a fabricated and forged letter to DPS in 2010 in an attempt to lend credibility to the first of his false allegations and complaints. While I brought this matter to the attention of DPS, to my knowledge they declined any further investigation of the incident.

Ed Foster, along with others, continues to this day in his attempt to discredit, and have me criminally charged, as the Chief of Police for the Quartzsite Police Department. His latest false allegations and complaints created an investigation and finding period that lasted nearly fourteen months resulting in an unknown loss and waste of the tax payer's dollar, not to mention the undue hardship that was created to the community, the Town, the Department, Sgt. Frausto, myself and our families. 

On behalf of the Quartzsite Police Department, myself and all those affected, I wish to thank the Town and community members of Quartzsite that have provided their continued support and stood behind us over the course of these false allegations and complaints.

I will continue with my dedication to the Town of Quartzsite as Chief of Police, to serve and protect and to provide the best possible police services to the community. Again, I wish to thank everyone for their support.

Jeff Gilbert
Chief of Police
Quartzsite Police Department

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Political Signs are disappearing in La Paz County, again

Cibola, Arizona- As political tensions rise, political signs disappear.

Just in case people don't know, it is a class 2 misdemeanor to knowingly remove or deface political signs. The photos above were provided by Blain Harold, a candidate for La Paz County Supervisor Dist. 3 who was in Cibola with Candy Escorza, a candidate for La Paz County Sheriff. Other candidates have complained of their signs missing in the area as well.

Quartzsite has long been know for its political feuds, with political signs being defaced or just disappearing. If a property owner takes down a sign that was placed without permission, the property owner MUST notify the candidate immediately of the action taken. A good reason that all political signs must have contact info.

Come on people, PLAY NICE! [Editorial comment ~ Rain]

ARS 16-1019. Political signs; printed materials; tampering; classification

A. It is a class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign of any candidate for public office or knowingly remove, alter or deface any political mailers, handouts, flyers or other printed materials of a candidate that are delivered by hand to a residence for the period commencing forty-five days before a primary election and ending seven days after the general election.

B. This section does not apply to the removal, alteration, defacing or covering of a political sign or other printed materials by the candidate or the authorized agent of the candidate in support of whose election the sign was placed, by the owner or authorized agent of the owner of private property on which such signs are placed with or without permission of the owner or placed in violation of state law or county, city or town ordinance or regulation.

C. Notwithstanding any other statute, ordinance or regulation, a city, town or county of this state shall not remove, alter, deface or cover any political sign if the following conditions are met:

1. The sign is placed in a public right-of-way that is owned or controlled by that jurisdiction.

2. The sign supports or opposes a candidate for public office or it supports or opposes a ballot measure.

3. The sign is not placed in a location that is hazardous to public safety, obstructs clear vision in the area or interferes with the requirements of the Americans with disabilities act (42 United States Code sections 12101 through 12213 and 47 United States Code sections 225 and 611).

4. The sign has a maximum area of sixteen square feet, if the sign is located in an area zoned for residential use, or a maximum area of thirty-two square feet if the sign is located in any other area.

5. The sign contains the name and telephone number of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.

D. If the city, town or county deems that the placement of a political sign constitutes an emergency, the jurisdiction may immediately relocate the sign. The jurisdiction shall notify the candidate or campaign committee that placed the sign within twenty-four hours after the relocation. If a sign is placed in violation of subsection C and the placement is not deemed to constitute an emergency, the city, town or county may notify the candidate or campaign committee that placed the sign of the violation. If the sign remains in violation at least twenty-four hours after the jurisdiction notified the candidate or campaign committee, the jurisdiction may remove the sign. The jurisdiction shall contact the candidate or campaign committee contact and shall retain the sign for at least ten business days to allow the candidate or campaign committee to retrieve the sign without penalty.

E. A city, town or county employee acting within the scope of the employee’s employment is not liable for an injury caused by the failure to remove a sign pursuant to subsection D unless the employee intended to cause injury or was grossly negligent.

F. Subsection C does not apply to commercial tourism, commercial resort and hotel sign free zones as those zones are designated by municipalities. The total area of those zones shall not be larger than three square miles, and each zone shall be identified as a specific contiguous area where, by resolution of the municipal governing body, the municipality has determined that based on a predominance of commercial tourism, resort and hotel uses within the zone the placement of political signs within the rights-of-way in the zone will detract from the scenic and aesthetic appeal of the area within the zone and deter its appeal to tourists. Not more than two zones may be identified within a municipality.

G. A city, town or county may prohibit the installation of a sign on any structure owned by the jurisdiction.

H. Subsection C applies only during the period commencing sixty days before a primary election and ending fifteen days after the general election, except that for a sign for a candidate in a primary election who does not advance to the general election, the period ends fifteen days after the primary election.

I. This section does not apply to state highways or routes, or overpasses over those state highways or routes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Desert Messenger online, Quartzsite newspaper for Wed. August 15, 2012

Quartzsite, Arizona - Desert Messenger, Quartzsite's FREE Community Paper online edition for Wednesday, August 15, 2012. 

Desert Messenger 8-15-12 -  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Paving scheduled on Hwy. 95 south of Quartzsite Monday

Paving scheduled on State Route 95 south of Quartzsite Monday

The Arizona Department of Transportation is currently working on a pavement preservation project on State Route 95 south of Quartzsite. Crews will be paving the southbound SR 95 right turn lane at La Paz Valley Road between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, August 13. Traffic will be intermittently stopped during work hours and minor delays may be experienced.

What to expect during work hours:
  • One lane will be closed during work hours.
  • Traffic will need to come to a complete stop before reaching La Paz Valley Road while workers direct alternating traffic through the work zone.
  •  Delays of approximately 15 minutes may be experienced.
  •  Reduced speed limits through the work zone.
  • Law enforcement will be on-site to control traffic and monitor speeds.
ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Construction planned for Hwy. 72 between Bouse and Parker

Arizona Department of Transportation

ADOT on Facebook  ADOT on Twitter  ADOT on YouTube  
Road repairs on State Route 72 scheduled to begin this weekend
Minor delays expected for motorists traveling between Bouse and Parker

YUMA – The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin a project to repair several sections of State Route 72 between Bouse and Parker. Work is scheduled to take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily beginning Friday, August 10 through Thursday, August, 16.

What to expect during work hours:
  • Intermittent lane closures of approximately three mile segments during work hours.
  • Traffic will need to come to a complete stop while workers direct traffic through the work zone.
  • Delays of approximately 15 minutes may be experienced.
  • Reduced speed limits through the work zone.
  • Law enforcement will be on-site to control traffic and monitor speeds.
ADOT advises drivers to proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions, but there is a possibility that unscheduled closures or restrictions may occur. Weather can also affect a project schedule. To stay up-to-date with the latest highway conditions around the state, visit the ADOT Traveler Information Center at or call 5-1-1.

For more information about this project, please visit  or contact Yuma District Senior Community Relations Officer Gabriella Kemp at 928.317.2165, or ADOT Community Relations Officer, Paki Rico, at 520.388.4233,

Friday, August 3, 2012

EdOptions to open in Quartzsite next week

Quartzsite, Arizona- Wednesday, August 1, 2012, EdOptions Online High School held an Open House for students, parents and the community. An estimated 60 people attended the open house, much to the surprise of administrators. EdOptions recently acquired the former Scholars' Academy campus in Quartzsite. The official first day of school will be Wednesday, August 8th.

Mark Orgeron, Quartzsite's newest council member, is EdOptions High School Quartzsite Learning Center's new Administrator. Orgeron was Head Teacher at Quartzsite Elementary School for the past three years.

Photo above, Left to right (foreground) : Mark Orgeron, Administrator and Instructor, Talea Shadowind, Administrative Assistant, Karen Mefford, Instructor and Julie Anderson, Instructor

EdOptions Director Jeff Sawner (above) explained EdOptions Online High School is a free, independent public school that provides top education and a flexible schedule. Students have three ways to earn their high school degree: In a hybrid classroom setting on campus; Web-based learning with EdOptions High School Online or a blend of hybrid classroom and online learning featuring the best of both worlds.

EdOptions High School is dedicated to providing students with an award-winning curriculum that aligns to state standards, scheduling flexibility, and an environment that sets the stage for individual success. EdOptions High School merges technology and content delivery with certified teachers online and in the classroom. Their approach to education provides each student superior opportunities for academic success. 

John Owen, Director of EdOptions Tempe campus, also attended Wednesday's Open House. The administrative team will work together as the school readies to open next week. Ed Options High School Quartzsite Learning Center is located at 506 E. Coyote, Quartzsite.

For information contact

If you'd like to see the video of the Open House, video will soon be online at 


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