Quartzsite resident and activist Michael Roth, who was convicted in 2010 of two counts of disorderly conduct, has had his convictions overturned in appeals.
The convictions stemmed from an incident at Quartzsite Town Hall while the Council was in executive session in another room. Roth addressed the crowd with his complaints about the Council and Police Chief Jeff Gilbert. An officer who was present testified that Roth became offensive in his remarks, and Gilbert arrested him.
The appellate court found that there was insufficient evidence of disorderly conduct, finding that “the state failed to present any evidence that Roth’s conduct seriously disrupted any event, function or activity.” It continues to say that Roth’s remarks “…prompted only laughter and criticism from the audience — with the exception of one incident of angry finger-pointing.” And: “…although Roth’s remarks to the audience immediately before he was arrested may have been antagonistic and annoying, he spoke in a normal voice and stopped speaking to listen as members of the audience responded.”
The court also stated: “The finger-pointing incident that Gilbert identified as crossing the line and provoking Roth’s arrest, to any extent that Roth can be charged with it, hardly rose to the level of probable violence.”
The ruling can be found HERE.