Quartzsite police firings case to move to federal court

In front of a packed courtroom Monday, Judge Randolph Bartlett allowed a hearing on the Quartzsite police officer firings to continue, despite a motion from an attorney for the Town of Quartzsite questioning the legality of the proceedings.

The hearing followed a temporary restraining order issued by Bartlett in recent weeks which ordered the town to reinstate two police officers who were fired following 10 out of 13 police officers being placed on paid administrative leave. The officers had submitted allegations against their police chief Jeff Gilbert.

The Town of Quartzsite argued in court that agreements between employees and employers cannot be the subject of intervention by the court. Bartlett allowed the hearing to proceed.

An attorney representing the police officers called Police Chief Gilbert to the stand. The town’s attorney responded by saying that he was not present in the courtroom, which drew an audible response from the 60+ crowd sitting and standing in the courtroom. The officers’ attorney then called Quartzsite Councilman Joe Winslow, who was also not present.

Since none of the defendants were present, the attorney called a plaintiff, Sergeant William Ponce, to the stand. Ponce testified that he and 9 other officers had made allegations of an ethical nature about Chief Gilbert, and that he had subsequently been fired.

After over 20 minutes of testimony, the attorney for the Town of Quartzsite asked to approach the bench. After the attorneys’ sidebar with the judge, Bartlett announced that the town was exercising its right to move the case to federal court.

The court ordered that the papers be submitted within 10 days, and that the temporary restraining order would remain in place during that time.

11 comments

  1. Moving to federal court is a stall tactic that is going to backfire on the city of Quartzsite. Also, while Quartzsite is stalling on this whistle-blowing matter, the Justice department is cleaning police-department houses all across the land, fed up with brutality and the corruption that has been fueling it for one-hundred years. And if that isn’t enough, taxpayers are so outraged, none will be happy until corrupt officials are all lynched (figuratively, of course).

  2. Right on Jackal. Gilbert and Taft and Johnson are stalling so they can continue to hide the plunder…. for just a little longer!

    Thank God for Patriots because none of this would’ve seen the light of day if it weren’t for a few brave people who took a principled stand against corruption.

    Carry a camera people, and videotape all police encounters, and ALL public meetings. Inevitably they will lie and you will have a YouTube moment that can embarrass them or even get them fired. If you want to affect change in your community start filming the corruption!!!!

  3. Who is the QTZ attorney? And what’s the status of gun confiscation?

  4. Judge Karen Slaughter reversed herself on the gun confiscation. I challenged it and she (not immediately, but after I hired an attorney) dismissed the injunction against me.

    The Quartzsite town attorney is Martin Brannon, but the attorney at the meeting yesterday was from a PHX law firm, I think!

    If anyone is looking for a good attorney in the Parker area I highly recommend Julie LaBenz, she’s at the John C. Churchill law firm. She’s fairly new to the area and is smart as a whip!

  5. Of course this is a stall tactic. These criminals are attempting to hide their fraudulent and deceptive activities. They have embezzled hundreds if not millions from the people of Quartzsite and will start to do more and more desperate measures as the people get closer to the truth! They are the cornered animal at this point.

  6. anotherdayinparadise

    Federal court is going to hand it to gilbert, taft and al. Gilbert is going to have no choice but to get on that stand at some point. He can’t hide forever

  7. And when an animal is cornered, they can be dangerous!!! Watch your back Quartzsite!

  8. I hope you got Slaughter and the counsel member to pay for your attorney. Amazing that QTZ just doesn’t come clean. Instead, it’s on a path to spend down taxpayer funds until it’s all gone. If the outcome includes convictions, go after the criminals for the taxpayer money they’re squandering on legal fees.

  9. anotherdayinparadise

    Yes watch your back, they are going to come after everyone. Good question Jackal on the money. I hope ol Joe Winslow has to pay Michael Roth back his attorney fees and some.

  10. John, why the editing? No names were mentioned, WTF? Is Parker Pioneer moderating here now???

  11. Another Day and jackal, you might find it interesting the dishonorable judge Karen “Slaughtering the Law” Slaughter denied me attorney fees. She makes a bad decision, refuses to reverse it until the day of the hearing, after I hired a lawyer, and even though she made the mistake (along with Joe Winslow) she expects me to pay for her mistake. Typical cop turned politician. She must be friends with Jeff Gilbert. She did support Holly Irwin for Supervisor too! It’s an incestuous little group of cronies that watch out for each other.

    Listen up people in Salome and Wendon, Vote out this terrible judge, or better yet, recall her!!! How many times do people have to see bad decisions by local politicians before they say enough is enough?

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