Quartzsite resident and former mayoral candidate Jennifer Jones has filed a challenge to the recent recall election where Jose Lizarraga was elected mayor over the incumbent, Ed Foster. In papers filed Sept. 8 in La Paz County Superior Court, Jones claims Lizarraga was not legally qualified to be mayor at the time of the election.
In the recall election held Aug. 30, Lizarraga received 302 votes to 245 for Foster and 23 for Jones. Jones had earlier announced her support for Foster.
In her complaint, Jones claimed Lizarraga is not qualified to be mayor under Section 2-1-10 of the Town Code (Ordinance 9-15). This ordinance states all candidates for town offices shall be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.
Jones listed examples which she said demonstrated Lizarraga violated this ordinance. She noted two town meetings held Nov. 30, 2011 and Dec. 21, 2010 had been declared to be in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law by La Paz County Attorney Sam Vederman. Lizarraga, as a town council member, was a participant at both.
Jones further contends Lizarraga and other council members thwarted Foster’s investigations into wrong doing by the council, refused Foster access to public records, and illegally changed the town’s laws to thwart Foster’s investigations into wrong doing by the council.
Her final contention is Lizarraga was sworn in illegally in that it occurred Sept. 6 during a special council meeting, rather than at the first regular meeting following the election, as mandated by the town code.
Jones is seeking to have Lizarraga declared ineligible at the time of the election and to have Foster declared the winner.
Lizarraga will have until 5 p.m., Sept. 14 to file a response. Jones is representing herself in this case.