Quartzsite in an uproar, in ‘state of emergency’ due to video on YouTube
The Western Arizona town of Quartzsite was in a state of upheaval Monday after the Town Council ousted the mayor from power and declared a state of emergency, all because of an online video that shows a woman being arrested.
Mayor Ed Foster told The Associated Press on Monday that the Town Council held a last-minute meeting that was closed to the public Sunday night, declaring a state of emergency in the town of 3,600 just east of the California city of Blythe.
The council’s declaration put Police Chief Jeff Gilbert in charge, making Foster the “deputy chief executive of nothing right now,” he said. It also allows the five-member council to meet without public notice and suspend all public comment at the meetings until the members declare the state of emergency over.
Foster was elected in May 2010 on a promise to investigate corruption allegations in the town.
He said since being in office, he has discovered that every pay period, eight to 10 paychecks go to unnamed people and that he has been denied access to financial records to find out where the money goes at every turn.
He said that’s been happening since 1991 and amounts to $250,000 every year. “That’s literally millions of dollars,” he said.
There are two links with the article, one to the video, and one to the mayor’s Facebook page.
UPDATE: More info here.
Foster said he has contacted the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Gov. Jan Brewer’s office and the FBI regarding rampant corruption by the council, Gilbert and Taft. The Arizona Ombudsman Office confirmed that it is investigation allegations from both sides of the dispute as well.
Don’t miss the last paragraph.