The Desert Messenger is reporting that the results of a DPS investigation into the actions of Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert after he removed resident Jennifer Jones from a public meeting last summer has resulted in no action being taken. The video of Jones’ removal went viral on YouTube, prompting rallies and nationwide outrage about Gilbert’s conduct during 2011.
According to the Messenger, “The findings were reviewed by Arizona Deputy Attorney General Andrew Pacheco,” and that, “The investigation was declined for prosecution based on no reasonable likelihood of conviction. The investigation will be closed and no further action taken.”
Arizona Department of Public Safety Detective Ron Baroldy was assigned to the investigation, which focused on the charge of Disorderly Conduct by Chief Gilbert, QPD Sergeant Garcia and Officer Paterson.
Baroldy interviewed the council members and the officers involved, along with Jennifer Jones and former mayor Ed Foster, who opened the complaint against Gilbert.
The report says:
“A review of the Investigative Questionnaires completed by council members, identified a majority vote was not obtained on the motion to remove Jones from the council meeting.”
Nevertheless, Sergeant Garcia “said she heard a majority vote obtained by the Council and was directed to remove Jones.” After Jones resisted, she was forcibly removed from the meeting and was put under arrest outside the council chamber.
According to the DPS interviews, council member Joe Winslow made the motion to remove Jones from the meeting over the objections of Mayor Ed Foster and general commotion in the room, and Bob Kelley seconded the motion.
The now infamous video, highlighting an example of what the Town of Quartzite’s critics insist is corruption and abuse of power, can be viewed here: