“Shocked” judge apologizes for County’s financial “disaster”

An email from Judge Samuel Vederman to Superior Court appointees Wednesday apologized on behalf of La Paz County for its outstanding payments to them.

The email, which described the County’s finances as “a disaster”, was sent to appointed counsel, judges, the County Attorney and the Public Defender’s office. Parker Live obtained the email from a third party early on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have been made aware of the fact that appointed counsel are not being paid in a timely manner and I apologize for any hardship this may be causing you,” Vederman wrote. “The fact is, La Paz County is going through a financial crisis and the county does not have enough money to pay you in a timely manner. Some of you are owed a substantial amount of money and that is extremely unfortunate as you have worked in good faith to provide the county with valuable services. I fully anticipate that you will all be paid the money you are owed at some point in the future, but I am not able to say when that will occur.”

Vederman went on to assure appointees that he is confident in the measures being taken by Interim County Administrator Robert Smith and other staff who are responsible for the finances of the County.

“Like many of you, I am shocked to learn the extent of the problem,” he wrote. “I knew there was a problem, but from what I have recently been told it is far worse than I had ever imagined. Frankly, county finances are a disaster right now and there is no way to spin it any other way. It is not clear to me what the prior county administrator was actually doing to address this problem, if anything.”

The email finished by informing recipients of the resignation of County Finance Director Brandon Mancuso, who left his job on Tuesday morning.

For previous recent stories on La Paz County’s financial problem, see:

Inside the financial crisis at La Paz County

County officials speak on financial situation

County suspends hiring, offers employees voluntary unpaid leave


  1. The whole court system affected by bad decisions elsewhere.

  2. Bankruptcy is only way out,time to start over

  3. Start by laying people off in the county attorneys office. Too many big mouths there. I understand there are many cases to handle but keep the ones that can actually work without talking about it outside of work. What a mess!!

  4. Bankruptcy. Now. Stop the bleeding.

  5. Gary Hales

    what a mess and i fear this is only the beginning.

  6. Susan Olsen

    Wow. Somebody had Thier hands in the cookie Jar.. bummer..

  7. Aaron Bond

    Sooo…maybe elected officials should take a pay cut….

  8. Why don’t you sell all the new vehicles and helicopter that were bought and are not being used?

  9. helicopter was not purchased but given by maricopa county from a federal grant program for law enforcement and i highly doubt you would want a deputy responding to your emergency in a vehicle that has 185k or more miles on it………. i say do the smart thing sell the golf course, and call Yakima swallow our goddamn pride and allow him to open to bring revenue and jobs to the county as well as income in the form of property tax…… the former Board of Supervisors that went against advisement of ACIP attorneys stating we would lose in a trial against Yakima and would be liable for the verdict and still chose to be idiots and proceed thinking we just might win and get some free money….but lost and sunk the county to which it has yet to recover since

  10. Inside Man- I believe the golf course is a profit-making enterprise, not a loss for the County.

  11. Ray Benjamin

    Maybe hold the prior administrator should be held accountable

  12. The 2016 La Paz County budget shows actual numbers for emerald canyon golf course making a profit of about $90,000 in 2015. Not sure how much it’d be worth to the county if sold or leased & not sure budget estimates are correct or if costs could be reduced. I’ve heard that salaries are high there but then again it’s a nice place.

  13. Why cant the golf cource pay there donut bill to fsmily own starks bakery.

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