Quartzsite USA: proving corruption is everywhere

Garry Reed's picture

While libertarians are almost always focused on fighting the big corruption, big scandals and big lies inherent in big government they may be neglecting their own backyards.

Charges of corruption, illegal orders, arbitrary arrests, embezzlement, and abuse of power pitting the mayor, city council, police chief, police officers, and citizens against each other have put the town of Quartzsite AZ, population 3,466, in the national spotlight.

The suspension of ten police officers who blew the whistle on their Chief's alleged illegal activities and their refusal to obey what they contend were illegal orders caught the attention of Oath Keepers.

With spin coming from every direction it's difficult to summarize the conflict, except to say that it involves politics and money.

It seems to have started when the now-ousted mayor ran for office on promises to investigate the disappearance of millions of dollars in public funds since 1991.

"Every pay period, eight to 10 paychecks go to unnamed people," an AP article reported. But the mayor "has been denied access to financial records to find out where the money goes."

The Quartzsite police officers' refusal "to follow unlawful orders" was a stance right up the Oath Keepers' alley.

As reported by the Dallas Libertarian Examiner in 2009, Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters "who will fulfill the Oath we swore" and promise to disobey unconstitutional orders.

Oath Keepers president Stewart Rhodes will be acting on his own as attorney for "grassroots journalist" Jennifer Jones, arrested in July for exposing corruption at a city council meeting, and Mayor Ed Foster who has been repeatedly targeted by Chief Jeff Gilbert for speaking out against him.

As an organization, Oath Keepers is planning a "muster" in Quartzsite.

Billed in an August 3 news release as the Quartzsite Liberty Festival, Oath Keepers chapters from as many as six western states along with "numerous other patriot/Constitutionalist groups" plan to converge on the town's campgrounds on August 27, setting up a tent and RV city and holding a banner and flag march in support of the police officers and "the free speech rights of the citizens."

While more and more police forces around the country are turning into a barrelful of bad apples these ten officers prove there are still a few good apples left.

(Thanks to reader Leon Moyer for suggesting this story)

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