As a front page story in today’s Arizona Republic reported, La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman has asked the FBI to step in and investigate the town of Quartzsite.
Parker Live received a copy of the letter this morning. In it, Vederman expresses his concern about recent events in the town, citing various cases as examples of what he says is his belief “…that certain citizens within the Town of Quartzsite may have been, and may currently be, targeted for arrest and prosecution simply because they are in political opposition to the Town, QPD, Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert or other Town Officials.”
Vederman goes on to mention that Chief Jeff Gilbert requested felony charges against citizens for which he believes “…no criminal conduct occurred, or, at the very least, did not rise to the level of felony conduct.” He mentions by name examples including local newspaper publisher Jennifer Jones, activist Michael Roth, former Mayor Ed Foster and Russell Sias.
The letter calls the arrest of Ed Foster “a politically motivated arrest.” It also cites Chief Gilbert’s requests that the La Paz County Attorney’s Office decline to prosecute certain cases after attorneys Michael Frame and Matt Newman objected to the behavior of Town Attorney Martin Brannan.
In addition, Vederman’s letter cites the firings of numerous police officers who objected to Chief Gilbert’s conduct, an officer who contacted Vederman concerned that if he carried out the orders of Chief Gilbert he may violate citizens’ rights, violations of open meeting laws as determined by the Attorney General, violations of public information laws, allegations that Brannan has been publishing inflammatory material about his political opponents on a personal website and an investigation currently underway by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.