County emergency meeting LIVE

Check here for updates on the emergency meeting called at 1:30pm at La Paz County Superior Court to discuss the current County financial situation caused by Writs of Garnishment in the Yakima case.

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1:21- The courtroom is full, standing room only. This comes a full 10 minutes before the meeting is due to start.

1:22- Some signs have been spotted: “No money, no work.”

1:24- The attorneys are here, including La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman and County Administrator Dan Field.

1:29- Department Heads are sitting with everyone else; they’re all hearing this together.

1:32- The Judge has taken his seat. Court is in session.

1:33- Judge recognizes all important parties including some by phone, including the Arizona Attorney General and a representative of Wells Fargo Bank.

1:36- Many motions have been filed by multiple parties, including many to quash the Writs of Garnishment.

1:37- A lawyer for the County says he believes the Writ is illegal.

1:40- He says the Garnishment cannot be allowed because County government assets are protected by state statute.

1:42- Roughly $900,000 in payroll would have been issued today. Lawyer lists the ways in which these Writs are impacting the County.

1:43- He says courts across the nation have held for 100 years that these Writs cannot be applied to government. “Frankly we do not understand why……. therefore they need to be quashed.”

1:46- Important moment: the State Attorney General says that the Garnishments are illegal and are against state statute.

1:51- Yakimas lawyer says the action was not intended to harm. Skeptical looks in the gallery. He says nobody can deny the $13m judgment in Yakima’s favor.

1:53- Yakima says it is in the same position as the employees in the courtroom; they are all claimants to County money who want to be paid.

1:55- Yakimas attorney is setting out the case for keeping the Writ in place, citing another statute in contradiction to the arguments by every other party.

1:58- “The County and those who have joined the County have failed as a matter of law…” to quash the Writs.

2:00- Yakima says that if someone can prove their money in that account is not the County’s, then their Garnishments would not attach to it. But, “that may be hard to prove…”

2:02- County has a chance to respond. “Yakima denies that it had an intent…” to harm County operations, but it has and it is, they say.

2:04- County says an additional Writ was issued yesterday afternoon for an extra $1 million. All of this shows a lack of good faith by Yakima, they say. Yakima is trying to “go to the head of the line” for payouts, they say.

2:06- County characterizes Yakima’s argument as saying that the law only protects Counties directly, but not if they put their money in the bank (“That doesn’t make sense, your honor.”)

2:07- Most of the money belonged to entities other than the County…

2:10- “There is essentially no money that the County has at this point…” that is not belonging to someone else or needed for necessary operations.

2:10- Judge: “If this action hasn’t gotten the attention of La Paz County…. I don’t know what would.”

2:12- There are no relevant cases in the state to cite, Judge says.

2:12- It may be the County’s burden to prove that the funds are needed… but the Judge seems to be granting the motion to quash the Writs.

2:18- Funds are still in the possession of Wells Fargo. The bank is asking if it should release the funds immediately or wait for a written order.

2:20- The court is agreeing to the quick release of the funds needed for payroll and other essential services.

2:23- Yakima wants part of the order to include a stipulation that may move the matter forward between the parties and make it clear that the County needs to work to pay its debt to Yakima.

2:26- The court grants the motions to quash the Writs of Garnishment. Court is adjourned.

14 comments

  1. Man in the Shadows

    Very nice reporting John, more info than we will get from the Pioneer

  2. Well I sure hope the board dosen’t think they won something, you board members need to look at this as a wake up call. You have had pleanty of time to settle this matter and you choose to spend the County money like fools instead of the educated grown ups you all tried to make us think you are SHAME ON YOU!
    I can think of two very new employees we don’t even need, do they even clock in 40 hours a week? You know who I mean, those two rangers we never see out and about unless there is a function at a County park. But oh no it was just so much more important to create a slot to place Larry Irwin then pay any money to Yakima and then of course Larry had to have a partner and Linc needed a job so hey why not create another job slot, as if the money for both couldn’t of been used toward Yakima payment. You 3 and Mr. Fields suck as leaders and each and every one of you should resign. You have some nerve putting the screw to all of us employees.

  3. Man in the Shadows

    Well said Voice

  4. Hear Hear, Voice!

  5. Where have you been VOICE? We needed you years ago.
    Good for you Jim, I think you finially have shown the citizens what a lousy C M and BOS’s really are.

  6. Great Job covering the story John. With no other timely news outlet, I was hoping you would jump on the story when it broke, and you came through big time. Pretty much the best coverage that can be done with the recources you have. Keep up the good work!

  7. I will lay it all out. The county got a huge victory today. The ruling showed that Willett was out break the backs of the employees. Not only was he out to hurt the employees he is now threatening their jobs. So now he wants to hurt the county employees, I have a question for him. What is your final offer?

    Willett you have come on her and in the paper and spewed your rhetoric. What is it you will accept from this county? You say there have been no negotiations. What is it, the bottom line, you want to receive?

    We will see what he wants. Here is another issue I have, Mr. Roth. What were you promised by Willett? You claim you have a legitimate paper, but it is nothing more than a tabloid. You criticize John about his journalism but your paper is a rag. Let’s get real here.

    There are a few influential people, who live in this community, who are in the pocket of Willett. They are the ones who post most often here. This BOS saw a very bad situation for it’s employees and acted very quickly. They got the county employees paid. This was not what the Willett cronies wanted along with some of the county’s elected officials.

    I have lived in this county for 8 years. The past BOS brought this on. This BOS has been dealt a pretty crappy hand. They scored a victory and should be commended.

  8. Sunonshadows,
    If anyone here would like a free copy of La Paz County’s newest newspaper, call me and I’ll send you a copy. At least we are making an attempt to report real news and tell people the truth about their elected and non-elected officials. If that’s a rag to you, keep reading the Parker Pioneer. My phone number for anyone who would like a copy of the Desert Freedom Press is 928-927-8888. You will have to give me your real name as I don’t mail out free samples to people who hide behind handles like sunonshadows does. I’ve only told one person at the County about my involvement with the Desert Freedom Press and his name is Dan Field. So your post above makes perfect sense.
    The only time the Board Of Supervisors acted quickly was when paychecks were on the line. Yes, the Board was dealt a crappy hand. But it wasn’t really dealt to them it was more like handed off to them and they have done the same thing as previous boards. Remember Holly Irwin was endorsed by Dan Field and Mary Scott. John Drum has been a tool for the establishment here forever. Sandy Pierce, though I don’t think she ever was a part of the Club when she was elected, she has certainly become a Member.
    You guys can’t hide behind “we didn’t create this mess” forever, especially when you are doing the exact same thing as previous administrations.
    The County employees got their paychecks and that’s good for them. But now they need to get rid of the people who caused this problem in the first place, or it’s going to get worse!
    And fwiw, Mr. Willett has promised me nothing. I barely know the guy and have only talked to him a few times. I have however talked to him more than John Drum, Sandy Pierce and Holly Irwin have. And they all campaigned on negotiating a settlement with him. But apparently we have more important things to do like hire Holly’s husband for a brand new position that never existed, even though we are flat on our back broke in this county. As a lifelong entreprenuer it sickens me to see government weenies like you destroy prosperity. Imagine how much better off this county would be if we didn’t piss away all of this money on lawyers over blown egos.
    Don’t pull a muscle while patting yourself on the back because if I know Mr. Willett like I think I do, he hasn’t even scratched the surface yet. Heck, he hasn’t even scratched the scratch yet.

  9. Thanks for the words CS

  10. Roth- For allowing space on my site for promoting your paper… You’re welcome.

  11. Thank You for not censoring me this time. I was wondering how you would handle it.

  12. Excellent job John.

  13. Roth you wouldn’t know the truth if it knocked you on your B-hind. Your nothing but a b.s.’er from Quartzsite that only knows how to cause trouble. If the rest of the county knew half the problems you cause in Quartzsite they would not even give you the time of day.

  14. I only give trouble to the politicians and the corrupt Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert! What’s wrong with that? It’s still America isn’t it? Why don’t you come to Quartzsite and talk to anyone who does anything in this town and get the real voice of the day!

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