Image via QTown.US
The State Bar of Arizona has suspended the law license of former Quartzsite Town Attorney Martin Brannan.
On April 30th, 2014, a disciplinary judge ordered the suspension for 90 days, citing Brannan’s failure to acknowledge conflicts of interest he had during and after his time as Quartzsite’s Town Attorney.
According to the Disposition Summary in the case:
“Mr. Brannan, the Quartzsite town attorney, town prosecutor, and town parliamentarian, filed a criminal complaint against his client, the mayor, for allegedly refusing to adjourn a town council meeting owing to lack of a quorum. Mr. Brannan also initiated litigation on behalf of his client — the town — against his other clients, the Quartzsite Town Council and certain Quartzsite employees in various personnel matters, without obtaining written informed consent to the conflicts of interest. When Mr. Brannan was fired he failed to return town property (files and electronically stored data) to the town. After he was fired, Mr. Brannan represented former town employees in litigation against the town — his former client — without obtaining written informed consent to the conflict of interest. On motion, Mr. Brannan was disqualified from representing the former employees due to his conflict of interest with his former employer.”
The summary also mentions several aggravating factors, including prior disciplinary offenses, one of which resulted in a formal reprimand by the state bar in 2011. The reprimand was for communicating a pending plea agreement to a represented criminal defendant outside the presence of their counsel, and happened while Brannan was working with the Apache County Attorney’s Office.
Mitigating factors in the current disciplinary proceeding include “personal or emotional problems, full and free disclosure to the disciplinary board or cooperative attitude toward proceedings, and remorse.”
According to Brannan’s website, he has since been working in private practice representing carefully chosen clients. “Martin won’t take just any case or any client,” his website says. “He takes very few clients so that he can give the clients he does take the time and attention that they deserve.”
Brannan’s time as Quartzsite Town Attorney came during a turbulent period in the town’s history. Along with former Town Manager Alex Taft and former Police Chief Jeff Gilbert, Brannan represented a Town Council that was engaged in organized opposition from Mayor Ed Foster, newspaper publisher Jennifer Jones and others, and came under fire in the national news for actions that they took in the hostilities.
Alex Taft is now a recently hired employee of La Paz County. To read Parker Live’s coverage of previous news involving Martin Brannan, CLICK HERE.