Attorney connected with Quartzsite conflict may be disbarred

UPDATE ADDED AT BOTTOM.

An attorney who was involved in a political conflict in Quartzsite, AZ is at risk of being disbarred, according to a column at Forbes.com.

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Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes, founder of an organization associated with the patriot movement called Oath Keepers, represented Quartzsite residents Michael Roth, Jennifer ‘Jade’ Jones and Mayor Ed Foster in civil suits in federal court. The cases arose during a period of intense political turmoil in the town, which first made national news when Jones was removed from a Town Hall meeting by the police chief at the time, Jeff Gilbert.

The Oath Keepers held a rally in Quartzsite in August, 2011 drawing dozens of protesters, some armed, who chanted, “Nazi police chief resign” and other slogans against Gilbert and the town council. Rhodes led the rally with Mayor Foster, Jones, Roth and others, and it was a shot in the arm to the group in Quartzsite who had made public allegations of corruption against the council and chief.

“The Oath Keepers was set up to support those who took oaths of office to defend the constitution,” Foster told Parker Live.

The majority of Quartzsite’s police officers had signed a document alleging that Gilbert was abusing his authority, and the rally was held partly to support the embattled officers. Jones and Roth had both been arrested by Gilbert.

“[Rhodes] came in and rallied with us and signed contracts to represent us in court. He was a big disappointment, that’s all I can say.”

On May 12th, 2014, Roth lodged a complaint against Rhodes accusing him of providing incompetent representation and abandoning him in his civil suit in federal court, according to the Forbes piece. The article mentions that Jones was unable to reach Rhodes too, finding herself “without a lawyer in the middle of a civil case in federal court.”

Foster says he simply fired Rhodes when he stopped responding.

“I tried to contact him numerous times,” he said. “He wouldn’t answer calls and he wouldn’t answer emails, so I just decided that I wasn’t going to pursue him. I sent him a message saying that I consider the contract void.”

The Oath Keepers’ rally in Quartzsite was just the beginning of the organization’s series of confrontations with government entities. They made national news again in 2014 when they held a heavily-armed standoff against the federal government at Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, with Rhodes leading the charge. But he left Quartzsite’s Foster, Jones and Roth in the lurch.

“I’m not sure what went on. Someone said he was having family problems. I’m not sure. Something went wrong with him and he went off the rails,” Foster said.

Montana Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel recommended last week that Rhodes be disbarred after the latest complaint against him alleged that he had filed a case in Arizona without a license to practice here.

Gilbert’s police certification is to be reviewed later this month by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, AZPOST, according to Foster.

UPDATE: Gilbert says he has been cleared of wrongdoing: “AZ POST has already dismissed all complaints logged against me which were primarily filed by Foster and Jones. The only remaining issue deals with the termination of the Quartzsite police officers, which I have confidence they will dismiss as well later this month.”

15 comments

  1. Marie Mullins

    I don’t like the oath keeps. They act more like nazis.

  2. Marie Mullins

    What are you talking about? Too afraid to read the article?

  3. Ed Foster,
    Prove you fired Stewart, and why is that OathKeeper bumper sticker still on the back of your car?

  4. Marie Mullins,
    Nazism (aka national socialism) is a failed idea, just like socialism itself.
    This has been proven time and time again!
    The founders of this once great nation gave us a Constitutional Republic, which we have failed to keep.
    The Oathkeepers is a great idea but its leader is a POS, just like Obama!

  5. Shanana Rain Bear

    It was well known that Rhodes was not licensed to practice law in Arizona, but the Mayor hired him anyway?

    From the Forbes article, “According to his online biography, he [Rhodes] had clerked for the Arizona Supreme Court in 2004, so it seems unlikely he was unfamiliar with the licensing laws.”

    Read the Forbes article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjmacnab/2015/11/02/oath-keeper-founder-at-risk-of-being-disbarred/

  6. Ed, can you please prove you fired Rhodes?

    John, why did you add Failure Foster to the story? I understand your aversion to me, but Ed did nothing meaningful during this entire mess. He even was the deciding vote to pay off Gilbert to go away, he wasn’t fired like everyone believes. He walked away with a super fat paycheck which we all paid for. He should’ve been fired not bought off.

    And to insult all us thinking people again he lied to the voters when he told everyone he would shut down the Quartzsite Police Department if we voted in the current clown council. Ed lied. Norm Simpson lied, and so did the others. We don’t need a PD. The County can do just as bad a job and for much less. And when they really screw up we can recall the Sheriff. Now we have no recourse.

    Ed just wants to be the establishments friend, and he’s succeeding.

    Thanks?

  7. John, since you have resurrected me once again in your sided article, without any attempts to contact me, I am including an email address that will allow you to do so in the future. If you are going to publish stories that involve my names or my past actions, then you are being advised to get an accurate account of what you are writing about. So there is no misunderstanding and to protect you from libelous comments, and so that you may provide your readers with an unbiased story line, please contact me at (####).

    Mr. Roth is correct about one thing in his comments, and that is that the Town of Quartzsite had to terminated my contract “without cause” and pay me for a one year salary with benefits, as per the terms of the contract agreement. He may call it a “super fat paycheck”, for it did cost the Town in excess of $100,000 dollars, but they made the choice to go that route.

    The truth of the matter is that my “employment contract” was terminated “without cause” because that was the only way to halt and cover up a criminal complaint and investigation that had been filed by another council member alleging involvement with Mayor Ed Foster and Jennifer Jones. The case has never been followed up on and has been covered up since October 2013. There is full documentation of the complaint/investigation on record (if it has not been destroyed) at the Quartzsite police department. This case was reviewed by the AZ State Attorney’s Office and it was referred back to the jurisdiction of the Town of Quartzsite for completion which was never conducted.

    So John, when you would like to hear the “rest of the story”, please feel free to contact me. I am know longer held to orders of silence. While the story of Quartzsite may be intriguing, it also very disturbing. And maybe just once, some of the readers would like to hear the “truth”. Otherwise you will have to wait on my book.

    Jeff Gilbert
    Former Quartzsite Police Chief

  8. Hey Jeff – I’m happy to talk to you about Quartzsite. Email on its way. Thanks.

  9. Jennifer Jones

    The mayor never hired him. Stop spreading lies RainBear. Rhodes filed pro hac vice to appear but not for all cases due to a family emergency.

  10. Good to hear from Dilbert again, can’t wait to see the book. (Is it going to have lots of hand drawn pics, or maybe some frames of that disappeared video of your pal Do Anything For My Retirement Paycheck Patterson assaulting Dana and I in QPD lobby)

    And Jennifer Jones, Ed did hire Rhodes. I was there with you in his messy trailer when Ed, you, and I all faxed in our Agreement’s. Can’t see why you are lying about this when even Ed said he hired him then supposedly (we both know this is not true) fired him

    The truth of the matter is Stewart Rhodes signed us all up when when he wasn’t even allowed to practice in Arizona. This is clear. You know this but still lie for him. Can’t say I am disappointed or expected the truth from you!

    And Jeffy, is your fairy tale book going to include how you got a sweetheart extension on your contract shortly before your handwriting on the wall termination, courtesy of your criminal pals Martin Brannon and Alex Taft and the goons on Clown Council?

    I wonder if the book will better than the movie?

  11. Thanks for the update John.

    Everyone connected with this debacle knows what a joke AZPOST is.

    Cops investigating their brothers in blue, did anyone expect a different outcome?

  12. Well disgraced former Chief of Police Jeff Dilbert,

    Looks like your really really good buddy relationship with AZPOST Tool Lyle Mann paid off once again. Congratulations, you’re a real winner!

    I still see you around town, are you waiting for a regime change at Clown Council to get your job back? My bet is you are waiting to see if Larry Irwin gets elected Sheriff then you can finish off your last year to get your retirement benefits, you know, pull a Patterson.

    Maybe the next Board of Stupidvisors will make you a Park Ranger, after all it worked for Larry. (District 3 you really need to kick Holly Irwin to the curb this time)

    I want an autographed copy of your book Jeffy, is it coming out in Hardback, or straight to Kindle?

    If anyone in La Paz County still thinks cops investigating cops will result in True Justice, wake up!

    And FU AZPOST and Lyle Mann, you’re nothing but UN-American trash. Love 💝 from Quartzsite!

  13. Good to hear from you Mike. I’m glad I’m still having an impact on your life. To set the record straight, the latest AZ POST review was to determine whether or not I violated the 1st amendment rights of the “terminated” Quartzsite police officers and clerk, known as the “Quartzsite 8”. Actually I think it ended up at 6 officers and 1 clerk.

    The facts are this. The reason POST took no action on this matter is that I played no role whatsoever in the termination of the “Quartzsite 7”. This action was taken solely by the direction of Al Johnson, Alex Taft, Martin Brannan and the Risk Pool. Quite honestly, had it been my decision, most would have been terminated for legitimate causes of conduct unbecoming, lying during an internal investigation, untruthfulness, dereliction of duty and other causes. No big conspiracies Mike, just a board of professionals taking the “facts” into consideration and making the correct decision. As Sgt. Joe Friday would always say…”just the facts, ma”mam”.

    Nice of you to be looking out for me and my future Mike, but unfortunately I would not consider working for Sheriff Drum or Larry Irwin. We actually agree on this one, La Paz County is part of the “bigger problem”. But maybe I will consider running against them in next year’s election. The “good o’l boys’ club” of La Paz County desperately needs to be dismantled, and the corruption stopped, so the hard working officers and personnel of the County can do their jobs effectively.

    Who would have ever thought we had so much in common! Seeing how we are neighbors, I do have one request. You think you could do something about that mess on your property? I’d be happy to give you a hand….maybe you can give me a tour of your hydroponic grow system you got going on. I hear you a a pretty healthy “crop” about ready for harvest. Looks like things are working out better than they did in Yavapai County. No “disgrace” here Mike, life is good.

    Jeff Gilbert
    Former Quartzsite Police Chief

  14. No, Disgraced Former Chief of Police Jeffy, you will never be allowed on my property. If I ever see you on my property expect the same treatment I gave the last uninvited douche bags.

    And it’s not hydroponics it’s aquaponics. Get your story straight before you concoct your lies. Haven’t you learned anything since we first met? Of course we are all used to you making shit up, since I don’t have any crops going at the moment. When I do get some healthy greens going the entire town will know about it as I like to educate people on living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, unlike parasites like you who only suck the life force out of everyone they come into contact with.

    And yes my property does look like your face at the moment, it’s called construction you moron. What’s your excuse?

    Everyone knows AZPOST and Lyle Mann are a joke, that’s why they let you off on all of the felonies you committed. (In an upside down world losers win) Everyone now knows Chief’s get a free pass at AZPOST. People like you and Lyle Mann are why this nation is circling the drain.

    Please run for Sheriff, I’d love to school you in that position too. But I seriously doubt you’d win, as much as I’d like to see you get in. You could give Patterson a second chance at undersheriff, Fabby could be your Lt. and main squeeze again. And you could get your smug face in the national spotlight again. Imagine the fun we’d have!

    Thanks for the smiles Jeffy.

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