We’ve written about the goings-on in Quartzsite Arizona, including the YouTube video showing the arrest of a local woman who was authorized by the mayor to speak at a recent town council meeting. Now the council has ousted Mayor Ed Foster from power and declared a state of emergency.
Mayor Foster asserts that the town council held a last-minute meeting that was closed to the public — in violation of the open meetings law — Sunday night, after declaring a state of emergency in the 3,600-person western Arizona town.
Compounding matters, the council issued a declaration putting controversial police Chief Jeff Gilbert in charge. Foster referred to the act as making him the “deputy chief executive of nothing right now.” The declaration also allows the five-member council to meet without public notice and suspend all public comment at the meetings until they declare the state of emergency over.
The videos have gotten thousands of views and have people near and far sending messages of support to Foster and messages of outrage to the council. Foster’s supporters have launched a Facebook page and website.
Foster was elected in May 2010 on a campaign promise to investigate allegations of corruption in the La Paz County town.
He said since being in office, he has discovered that every pay period, eight to 10 paychecks go to unnamed people and that he has been denied access to financial records to find out where the money actually goes. He said that’s been happening since 1991 and amounts to $250,000 every year. “That’s literally millions of dollars,” Foster said.