The Town of Quartzsite’s procurement of private investigators to find evidence of voter fraud in the last election is authorized by state statute, according to a statement sent Friday to Parker Live by Town Manager Alex Taft.
The statement says the Town investigation is working on finding evidence that voter fraud occurred in the May election, which elected Ed Foster, Mark Orgeron and Pat Workman.
Workman recently filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office regarding checks written to the investigators, which she says total more than $30,000 so far. Workman’s complaint alleges that the Town Council did not authorize the payments.
While the Town did not confirm the amount paid to the investigators, its statement says the payments are valid under the authority given to Town Attorney Martin Brannan by state statute, citing ARS § 16-1021, which says that the “town attorney may enforce the provisions of this title [governing lawful elections] through civil and criminal actions.”
It adds that the investigators were hired pursuant to section 3-409 of the Town Code, which “permits contracts with professional service providers apart from the standard bidding requirements of Quartzsite Revised Town Code Article 3-4. The procurement of these professional services is substantially related to the authority granted to the Town Attorney by the Arizona Legislature and the services were lawfully procured.”
The Town says its investigation into the voters in the May election is “ongoing”:
“…the information obtained at this point will remain confidential to prevent the destruction of evidence and to protect those whose activities, while apparently suspicious, may yet prove to be lawful. The Town is working diligently toward acquiring prima facie evidence of voter fraud and hopes to gain the assistance of the Arizona Attorney General, the Arizona Secretary of State and/or the United States Department of Justice in bringing those individuals who voted illegally to justice.”
Speaking to KLPZ radio on June 14th, La Paz County Recorder Shelly Baker said she had been co-operating fully with the investigators, but said they had not found voting irregularities. Baker has not been on the record about the results of the investigation since June, but said Friday that the investigators were “very professional” and “went through everything with a fine tooth comb.”
She added that the work of the investigators was wrapping up and the Town of Quartzsite should have a report from them soon.