Quartzsite, Arizona Update December 9: No Justice for Jennifer Jones – charges vacated on 5th false arrest!

Quartzsite, AZ – The felony charge of “tampering with a witness” was vacated against newspaper publisher Jennifer Jones this week. This is the fifth arrest for Jones since last November, which began right after she announced her intention to run for town council and start an independent newspaper.

Despite repeatedly alleging what Jones has called “frivolous” charges, the town has refused to see any of them through. “Clearly, they are threatened by me and they’re using these false allegations to try and destroy my reputation.” Stated Jones. “This has been a pattern and practice that has escalated over the last three and a half years since the police searched my home without a warrant and I dared to file complaints about it.” She said. Currently, Jones is facing only citations for “vending without a permit.” This is the same charge dismissed with prejudice last month by Magistrate Judge John Henry.

Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sergeant Xavier Frausto were parked blocking the fire lane outside the Quartzsite Post Office on Friday, December 2nd. When Jennifer Jones walked out the door, Gilbert asked, “Can I talk to you Mrs. Jones?” When Jones replied, “No. Anything you have to say, you can say in front of the people inside.” Gilbert and Frausto followed her into the crowed Post Office lobby and placed her under arrest.

Despite Jones repeatedly asking what she was under arrest for, the police refused to provide an explanation. Finally, Jones suggested that they explain it to the large crowd of people waiting in line, “so they know what their taxes are paying for”.

While awaiting transport to the La Paz County Jail, Gilbert disclosed the charge but refused to provide any details. When Jones asked who signed the warrant Gilbert replied, “I don’t need a warrant. I just have to reasonably believe you committed a crime.” Jones responded that she reasonably believed he had been sampling the confiscated drugs in the evidence locker if he thought there was any probable cause for the arrest in a federal building.

According to Jones, Gilbert also referenced the blowback to the June 28th incident where he and Officers Fabiola Garcia and Rick Patterson forcibly removed her from a town council meeting and the video went viral on YouTube. “I haven’t received an email about you in, well, months. No one cares about you any more Mrs. Jones,” claimed Gilbert. Jennifer Jones was injured in that incident, which has been under investigation by Detective Ronald Baroldy of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Major Crimes Division, but no final report has been made public.

DPS Major Crimes is also investigating allegations against Chief Gilbert and Sergeant Frausto made by eighty percent of their own department last May. Some of those charges relate specifically to targeting Jones and her husband, as well as other known associates of recalled Mayor Ed Foster.

Despite the fact that DPS Detective Pete White has not cleared them of the serious allegations, Gilbert and Frausto remain on duty. “The town’s Procedures and Policy Manual requires them to be placed on administrative leave, but the council refuses to act. In the last year, I knocked on the door of every state agency and asked for help to no avail. It’s evident how deep the incompetence and corruption runs.” Said Foster.

Seven of the nine officers and the police administrator who ”blew the whistle” on department misconduct last spring were fired by the town over the summer and are represented by the Phoenix Law Firm of Schnider and Onofry. The alleged victim in Jones’ most recent arrest is Denise Ann Florian, a woman who was placed on the town’s personnel board on September 22nd to hear the appeals of terminated town employees, including the police officers. Florian has lived in Quartzsite for less than a year, and has colorful history of civil and criminal cases in Orange County, California
Quartzsite’s elected and appointed officials made headlines over the summer for refusing to show employee payroll and other open records requests, as well as numerous alleged open meeting violations including a secret meeting where the council declared a “state of emergency” and locked the door on the mayor and citizens. That YouTube video resulted in a press conference by Attorney General Tom Horne, but the AG’s office has not taken any further action.

Neither has Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Her office claims to lack the ability to get involved, yet Brewer successfully lobbied the State Senate a month ago for the removal of the Independent Redistricting committee Chairwoman Colleen Mathis after allegations of open meeting violations. Foster says, “Brewer is fiddling while Quartzsite burns. I’m worried someone is going to get seriously injured here before this is over.”

A year after her first arrest, Jennifer Jones newspaper, The Desert Freedom Press has the largest circulation in the La Paz County area and she has pulled nomination papers to run again for town council in March. According to Jones, this time, she intends to run on a campaign platform of disbanding the town’s dysfunctional police force and negotiating with the county sheriff to expand their dedicated coverage of the embattled town. “ I used to believe that there was hope for saving it, but it has become painfully clear that the legal liability for the police department no longer justifies spending over one third of our town budget. We need to start over, and while the position of police chief is an entrenched bureaucrat, the sheriff is accountable directly to the voters and has a Constitutional mandate to do the job.” Said Jones.

To listen to drunken voicemails made by alleged victim Denise Florian of Quartzsite Coachworks,  the night the Quartzsite Town Council appointed her to the Personnel Board, go to:


Warning, explicit language

News you can use for Quartzsite and La Paz County, AZ!

 — End of Dec. 9th update —
This morning, something happened in the La Paz County Superior Court that few expected. Mayor Elect Jose Lizarraga was determined to be “unqualified” if he failed to obtain and file a bond prior to taking office, as required by Quartzsite Town Code. This was only one of several allegations made against him by third place mayoral candidate Jennifer Jones, who contested Lizarraga’s eligibility for office.

Lizarraga had not filed the required response to the contest of the August 30th mayoral election, and did not show up to court today. Contestant Jones motioned for a default judgment, but Judge Michael Burke stated the law allowed for the hearing to proceed “ex parte”.

No one was present to legally represent the interests of the town, after Judge Burke had granted them intervention for relief, in the event that Lizarraga was found ineligible under the law. However, Jones argued that:

“The arguments listed in the town’s motion to intervene were based on false premise. First, election contests were not known at common law and therefore they are purely statutory and are special proceedings, not actions at law or suits in equity.  Harless v. Lockwood, 85 Ariz. 97, 32 P.2d 887 (1958);  Brown v. Superior Court in and for Santa Cruz County, 81 Ariz. 236, 303 P.2d 990 (1956). 

This means the procedure is strictly in accordance with ARS §16-671 through 16-678.  Nowhere in these statutes is there a right of intervention and the parties are limited to contestor and contestee under ARS §16-673, 16-674.B, and 16-675.  The Town of Quartzsite is not a party under these statutes.”

Jones also asserted that Town Attorney Martin Brannan had erred in his claim that the town council has an “absolute right” bestowed upon it to appoint a mayor, to fill a vacant position, and that the mayor’s seat must be filled by election, under state law and town code. Judge Burke grudgingly concurred.

The town of Quartzsite will apparently not have a mayor, until the next election, in the spring of 2012. Because Arizona law states: “In case of the absence of the mayor the council may appoint one of their number to act in his stead.”, Vice mayor Barbara Cowell is expected to chair the meetings, approve the minutes, and perform other mayor duties, but cannot assume the title or stipend of the position.

A written ruling in the case is expected withing five days.

–End of 9/22 update–

07/10/11, J.C. Kemp Q35


On 07-10-11, I went to the Quartzsite Police Station to pick up some paperwork from my box. Upon entering the station, I saw Ofc. Norris, Ofc. Rodriguez, and Chief Gilbert. As I stopped to check the warrants board, I heard Ofc. Norris call me and ask me to come into the patrol room where they were.

I entered and asked them what was going on. The Chief explained that earlier that morning, the Town Council had called a special meeting to announce a state of emergency in Quartzsite, due to threatening emails sent to them and the Chief. The Chief then proceeded to read me an email that said something to the effect that the person who wrote the email would not mind if the Chief was killed.

Ofc. Norris then cut in and asked him why she and Ofc. Rodriguez, who were on duty that day, had not been informed of a state of emergency. The Chief stated that he had been unaware of what the council was going to do until just a short time ago at the meeting.

At his words, I grew angry, as I had been shown an email from Chief to the La Paz County Sheriff’s Office asking for their assistance, as death threats had been issued over the internet, and Quartzsite was discussing calling a state of emergency.

I asked the Chief how serious a threat he thought it really was, if he had not told his own officers in advance, as all officers receive death threats, usually in person while making an arrest. Chief again said he had not told us, as he himself did not know the town was calling a state of emergency till just a few minutes ago. I again asked him if the threat was actually credible. At this point, he seemed to get visibly angry at me, and asked me, “How can you of all people not take this threat seriously?”

I told the Chief that since we now “knew”, we needed to call and inform all the officers working for our department that the town was in a state of emergency. The Chief said no, that the officers would be informed as they arrived for their shifts of duty. I said I believed that if death threats were being made against Quartzsite Officers, and since the people making the threats were local and knew where all the Officers lived, we needed to inform all Law Enforcement Officers right away, to heighten their alertness at home as well as on the street, working. The Chief shook his head, and stated the Officers would be notified over the next few days as they arrived for duty.

At this time, I turned away from Chief and told Ofc. Norris and Ofc. Rodriguez that we needed to call all the officers and give them a heads up, and that I personally intended to do just that myself. Chief then left the station.

Ofc. Norris then told me that she and Ofc. Rodriguez had been called to town hall, where they were confronted by a crowd of people who were upset and angry, because the town was declaring a state of emergency, and the Chief was going to be in charge of everything. Ofc. Norris said she was so angry that Chief had let them walk into the situation blind, with no warning, that after the meeting, she followed him to the Eatery and confronted him in the parking lot. Ofc. Norris stated that the Chief told them to meet him at the station.

I called Sgt. Ponce and told him what had happened, and the reasons why Ofc. Norris was upset. I then mentioned to Sgt. Ponce the email we saw on Friday the 8th, 2011, and told him it was wrong of Chief not to warn us, since he obviously knew before the meeting occurred on the 10th. Sgt. Ponce also recalled the ewmail, and told me he would inform the other officers.

End. James C. Kemp

Statement by Officer Norris About “Emergency” Condition

On July 10th 2011, I was dispatched to 465 N Plymouth Road to the Quartzsite Town Hall in reference to suspicious activity. While en route dispatch said that they received a call from Ed Foster who advised that he was told he was to meet Chief Gilbert at Town Hall and it was suspicious.

Upon arrival, I noticed a large amount of people in the parking lot of Town Hall. As I got out of my vehicle several people, including Ed Foster came up to myself and Officer Rodriguez. They were angry saying that an illegal meeting was going on and they were locked out and not allowed in town hall. Foster said that he was at home when Chief Gilbert and Xavier Fausto came and asked him to go with them to Town Hall for an emergency meeting. Foster said he refused to ride down with them but said drove to the Town Hall in his own vehicle. When he walked up to the doors of town hall he noticed all the council members and some of town hall staff were there having a meeting. Foster said it was an illegal meeting. He said Xavier Fausto opened the door and told Foster they were having an emergency meeting. Foster said he told them the meeting was not legal, was not open to the public and said he would not attend. He said Frausto refused to allow anyone to attend the meeting and he locked the door so no one could get inside the building. Foster said he wanted to file a complaint. After several attempts to contact Chief Gilbert and Sgt. Fausto, Officer Rodriguez contacted dispatch and requested assistance from a La Paz County Officer. An Officer from La Paz County Sheriff’s Office arrived and talked to Officer Rodriguez and to Ed Foster. I was at the back of the building when the meeting ended and Chief Gilbert walked out. He told me not to allow anyone at the back of the building or in the rear parking lot. Chief Gilbert and Xavier Frausto then gave council members a ride home. I was confused as to what emergency was taking place because I had seen Chief Gilbert several times that morning. I was in the office earlier that day and Chief Gilbert walked in, went past me and into his office. He never said anything to me about an emergency. I had been passed multiple times by both Chief Gilbert and Xavier Frausto several times in different places while driving around town that morning and had attempted to call both of them several times but neither of them would answer. I felt if there was some type of emergency in town then Officer Rodriguez and I should be notified for safety reasons since we were the officers on duty at the time. I saw Chief Gilbert drive into the Main Street Eatery Restaurant and Laundry Mat.

I turned around and pulled into the parking lot. I asked Chief Gilbert if he could explain to me why there was a State of Emergency in Quartzsite. I told him I was upset that I and another officer had been on Duty for several hours today and not been notified of any emergency. If there was an emergency I felt for officer safety reasons, we should have been notified right away. Chief Gilbert said he had planned on telling us later but would go ahead and talk to us now. He said to meet him at our office. Officer Rodriguz and I met Chief Gilbert at the office. Officer Kemp had walked into the officer and joined our conversation. Chief Gilbert told us that Quartzsite Officials, Council Members, and Officers had received a lot of death threats via email in the past week and because of this a state of emergency had been called. I explained to Chief Gilbert that I was upset and I didn’t feel it was right that he had enough death threats on Officers, Officials, and Council Members to cause a State of Emergency, yet he didn’t notify his officers of this information. I explained to him that knowing the officers are the easiest targets because we can be easily identified, we should have been and could have easily been notified by him as soon as the death threats were received. Officer Michelle Norris 

End 9/14/2011 update

Two months after Quartzsite police requested a criminal investigation into Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Quartzsite residents are still living in the twilight zone, and not a word from AZ Governor Jan Brewer or Attorney General Tom Horne.

Although town code requires regular meetings of the Common Council to be held at 7pm, today’s irregular “regular” meeting will be held at 9am, and with the addition of a metal detector at the front door to town hall. The members of council enter through the back door, and no metal detector has been installed there.While the council may be arming themselves with guns, the citizens continue to arm themselves with cameras. This is proving to be more effective.

Read the rest of this update, previous updates, and see videos below

Nobody has expressed an official interest, nor offered any advice beyond a mandamus or federal injunction to stop the bizare and shocking actions by Quartzsite officials after declaring that an emergency exists, and basically abdicating any responsibility to the town manager, Alexandra Taft, and her employees the police chief and building official. Mayor Foster had tried a mandamus, but La Paz County Superior Court Judge Michael Burke dismissed the demand, ruling that a citizen had no standing to request his or her elected officials to obey the law. Jones filed an injunction in pro per last December, but did not respond to the motion to dimiss by the town’s insurance lawyers. She is asking any attorney familiar with federal law to assist in refiling immediately.

In the meantime, it appears the council will appoint another like-minded person to fill the vacancy left by Jose Lizarraga, who resigned to run against popular “People’s Mayor” Ed Foster. Also expected to be passed this morning is the “model tax amendment” adding a 2.5% tax increase to local businesses and 3.5% to local contractors. This expands the scope of business to which the Transaction Privilege Tax applies, from the 16 categories current paying for the privilege” of doing business in Arizona.

Update 7/21/2011 – About 5 pm PST, The Desert Freedom Press learned that under the current “emergency”, Police Chief Jeff Gilbert has suspended ALL officers who filed criminal and ethical complaints against him. This leaves only the four officers who chose to stand with the Chief, despite the controversy and ongoing investigation by DPS. The same officers seen in the “Jennifer Jones arrest” video below. La Paz County Sheriff Don Lowery told the Parker Pioneer Newspaper last week that he had provided back up units to patrol the perimeter of Town Hall during the June 12th council meeting. Quartzsite Police Chief Jeff Gilbert and Sheriff Lowery served together as officers on the Colorado Indian Tribes Reservation.  Several Sheriff’s vehicles have been seen in the town over the last hour.

Reportedly, the officers are on “house arrest” from 8 am – noon, and 1 pm – 5 pm and have been instructed not to speak with media…(but their families can.)

For more information, contact:
Will Ponce, President, Quartzsite Police Officers Association
(928) 210-6177

Update 7/13/2011 – Stewart Rhodes from Oath Keepers has taken up the charge of defending the Constitution against the abuses in Quartzsite Arizona.  Rhodes stated, “Full disclosure — I am now the official legal counsel for both Jennifer Jones and for Ed Foster, the Mayor of Quartzsite, Arizona, regarding all of the many well documented abuses of their civil rights, and in particular, their First Amendment protected rights of free speech, assembly, as well as their rights to take part in the political process, by the Quartzsite Chief of Police and Town Council.  This is in my individual capacity as a lawyer, not as the President of Oath Keepers.  I want to make that clear.  But I do see this as part of my responsibility to keep my oath, and in particular the oath I swore as a lawyer, to defend the Constitution.   Sometimes the law can indeed be used as a sword of justice, so please wish me luck in helping them hold the town council and the Chief of Police accountable!” For more information and updates about this case visit Oath Keepers.

Update 7/12/2011 – E-mail from Jennifer Jones states: “The Parker Police Department, La Paz County Sheriff and Drug/RICO Task Force will reportedly be providing “security” to Quartzsite PD, for tomorrow’s Quartzsite Town Council meeting. The meeting, always held at 7pm, was rescheduled for 10am during Sunday’s illegal meeting to declare an emergency. This is what martial law looks like in small town USA.” 

Below is the latest video of the lockout that occurred:

Editor’s Note — Breaking: Jennifer Jones, the woman unlawfully arrested in the video below, just sent an e-mail that states the following: “In a secret session, members of the town council, Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Sgt. Xavier Frausto, Town Mr. Alex Taft, and illegally appointed Town Attorney Martin Brannan orchestrated an official state of emergency at noon today.  Chief Gilbert and Sgt. Frausto came to Mayor Fosters house to escort him to town hall. He told them he wasn’t going anywhere with them on a Sunday. Foster drove to town hall in his own vehicle, after contacting several people, only to find out that town officials convened a special meeting. ‘This is an illegal meeting’ said Foster. The police immediately locked him out of town hall. ”  

If anyone has any other information, or ideas for potential solutions, please comment below and we will contact Ms. Jones.

Jennifer “Jade” Jones — had her elbow injured (hospitalized) during this  outrageous and mysterious arrest – disorderly conduct – during peaceful statements at public podium during a town council meeting. Jones had the floor. Police chief Jeff Gilbert (positioned at wall) was directly involved. Many in Quartzsite do not understand why this police chief is not under suspension because Arizona State Dept of Public Safety is already investigating him for criminal accusations by officers in his department. Presiding officer of the meeting (Mayor) could not dissuade police from their mission. Many suspect conspiracy between police chief and council members, other than the mayor.

Please visit Desert Freedom Press for updates

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

Be the first to comment on "Quartzsite, Arizona Update December 9: No Justice for Jennifer Jones – charges vacated on 5th false arrest!"

Leave a comment