Recently, many of us heard about the bullying done to a resident of Quartzsite, Arizona, by the Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert. This story had me quite riled up that I had to voice my concerns to Sheriff Don Lowrey of La Pa County, La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman, and Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
My July 16th letter to them is as follows.
Attorney Sam Vederman
1320 Kofa Ave
Parker, AZ 85344
Sheriff Don Lowery
1109 Arizona Ave
Parker, AZ 85344
I am writing as a private citizen of the United States concerning the recent behavior and conduct by the Quartzsite Chief of Police, Jeff Gilbert. It has come to light on Facebook, Fox News and other media outlets as of late.
A resident of Quartzsite, Jennifer Jones, was initially allowed to speak during a Call to the Public segment of the Quartzsite city council meeting on June 28th. She was given the floor to freely speak about corruption occurring within the City of Quartzsite. As per the video on YouTube, Chief Gilbert, unconstitutionally had Ms. Jones arrested for no reason other than speaking out against the perceived corruption. I believe that her Constitutional rights as per the First Amendment were blatantly and grossly violated because Mr. Gilbert and associates did not like the message she had.
A few days later, Chief Gilbert has attempted to declare martial law in Quartzsite, while attempting to have Mayor Ed Foster removed from power. This apparently stemmed from the events of a July 11th city council meeting. This meeting was deemed illegal because of the events occurring during the June 28th city council meeting. A later video shows the Mayor declaring the meeting null and void and walked out of the meeting. However, the city council continued with the meeting, even after the Mayor walked out of it.
Thus, I urge you to initiate an immediate investigation into the actions of Chief of Police Gilbert and others in the grave violation of Ms. Jones’ civil liberties as pertaining to Article 2, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of Arizona, and to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Derek J Witt
I honestly didn’t think I was going to get a response from any of the aforementioned persons. Surprisingly on July 19th, I received the following response from the Attorney General’s Office of Constituent Services.
Thank you for contacting the Arizona Attorney General’s Office regarding your concerns.
Our office has opened an investigation into the allegations of open meeting law violations. This investigation is being conducted through the Office of the Solicitor General, Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team.
Regarding allegations of misconduct on the part of law enforcement officials, this office does not have jurisdiction over local law enforcement and therefore does not have the authority to conduct such investigations. The appropriate agencies to report police officer misconduct would be the United States Dept. of Justice or the FBI.
In regards to criminal activity and public corruption, if someone has evidence of criminal wrongdoing they should submit their complaint / information in writing to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to the attention of the Special Investigations Section at 1275 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Please note, our Office acts as legal counsel for State Agencies in Arizona and, therefore, cannot act as a private attorney to individual citizens. This means we cannot give legal advice, opinions or interpretation of law to individuals.
Thank you again for contacting our offices.
Office of Constituent Services
Arizona Attorney General’s Office
Apparently, numerous complaints were made to the Arizona Solicitor General’s Open Meeting Enforcement Team (OMET) about the illegal conduct of the city council and the Chief of Police. Even Mayor Ed Foster submitted a complaint to the OMET.
As per the response that Mayor Foster received, OMET consolidated the open meeting violation complaints, and opened an investigation into allegations of Open Meeting Law violations by Chief of Police Jeff Gilberts and others. As many can see on this Youtube video, Jennifer Jones was illegally arrested during an apparently obvious violation of said Open Meeting Laws.
And apparently, other Youtube Videos are surfacing. These demonstrate further gross violation of Arizona State Law, and of the Constitution of the State of Arizona and of the United States. We, as private citizens, must continue to put the spurs upon the likes of Chief of Police Gilbert, and of members of the Quartzsite City Council. The declaration of martial law solely because being called out on perceived corruption cannot stand!
I pray that the State of Arizona stands up for its own citizens and protects them against gross constitutional violations as done by those members of the Quartzsite City Council and Chief of Police Gilbert.