Update: Sept 12th to add list of reasons
An activist in the town of Quartzsite has filed a legal challenge to the recall election which unseated mayor Ed Foster.
Jennifer Jones is best-known for her appearance in the viral web video which showed her forcible removal from the podium during a Quartzsite council meeting, and in her role as publisher of the Desert Freedom Press.
On Thursday, Jones filed a legal challenge in the La Paz County Superior Court to the election of Jose Lizarraga. Jones was also a candidate on the ballot, but had publicly asked voters to support Foster.
In a press release, Jones said that a summons had been served on Mayor Elect Lizarraga’s wife this morning at their home, by a private process server, adding:
Lizarraga has until 5pm Wednesday, September 14th, to file a response with the court. The civil case is between private parties Jones and Lizarraga, so town attorney(s) may not represent the newly elected mayor. Jones filed “in pro per”, and will represent herself.
The Contest of Election surrounds Lizarraga’s eligibility under Quartzsite Town Code 2-1-10. Ironically, Mayor Foster wanted this town ordinance repealed, and placed it on the Council Agenda last spring, but the council including Lizarraga supported the ordinance and voted in favor of taking no action. They refused to even engage in public discussion on the matter with Foster.
On the list of reasons to contest the election, Jones asserts that Lizarraga violated the state of Arizona’s open meeting laws in his position as a councilperson. and that he thwarted Mayor Ed Foster’s investigation into wrongdoing by the council, among other things. She argues that the court should find him ineligible for office, and designate Ed Foster as the next-highest vote-getter.
This represents the latest action in a larger legal battle between two factions in the town of Quartzsite, one which supports the council and police chief, and the other which opposes them.