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Quartzsite Police Chief Gilbert, Sgt. Garcia placed on leave

Written by Subject: Government
According to Quartzsite Town Manager Alex Taft, in an official
statement from the Town of Quartzsite this afternoon:
Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert and Sergeant Fabiola Garcia were placed on administrative leave today pending the results of an investigation. Sergeant James Schultz will act as Chief of Police pending the return of Chief Gilbert or the appointment of an interim Chief. There will be no reduction in the number of patrol officers and the Police Department will be able to meet the needs of Quartzsite’s residents while this investigation is ongoing.
It is the policy of the Town of Quartzsite not to reveal the nature of uninvestigated and unproven allegations. The placement of Chief Gilbert and Sergeant Garcia on administrative leave was done purely to facilitate a speedy investigation and not as a form of punishment. The Town urges the public to treat both Chief Gilbert and Sergeant Garcia as innocent of any wrongdoing while the investigation is ongoing.

This is in stark contradiction to a press release issued by Chief Gilbert earlier this month which stated:
For Immediate Release: Statement from Quartzsite 
Chief of Police Jeff Gilbert on DPS Report #2011-027462

Quartzsite, Arizona - On August 13, 2012, I received a completed copy of the criminal investigation conducted by the AZ Department of Public Safety (DPS) against myself and Sgt. Xavier Frausto. This report included the "Turndown" notice declining the case by the AZ Attorney General's Office, dated July 12/13, 2012. The allegations and complaint was initiated by then Quartzsite Mayor Ed Foster.

The case was declined for the following reasons stated by the turndown report as: "Victim/Witness Credibility Problems"; "Inadequate Evidence of Intent"; "Inadequate Evidence of Corroboration"; and "No Reasonable Likelihood of Conviction".

This is the third criminal investigation I have been subjected to along with members of my department from false allegations and complaints made by then Mayor Ed Foster. I have been exonerated, along with the other members of the department each time. Sergeant Xavier Frausto has served this community for nearly twenty years with his complete dedication to the community.

I have documented evidence that Ed Foster participated with another party and submitted a fabricated and forged letter to DPS in 2010 in an attempt to lend credibility to the first of his false allegations and complaints. While I brought this matter to the attention of DPS, to my knowledge they declined any further investigation of the incident.

Ed Foster, along with others, continues to this day in his attempt to discredit, and have me criminally charged, as the Chief of Police for the Quartzsite Police Department. His latest false allegations and complaints created an investigation and finding period that lasted nearly fourteen months resulting in an unknown loss and waste of the tax payer's dollar, not to mention the undue hardship that was created to the community, the Town, the Department, Sgt. Frausto, myself and our families. 

On behalf of the Quartzsite Police Department, myself and all those affected, I wish to thank the Town and community members of Quartzsite that have provided their continued support and stood behind us over the course of these false allegations and complaints.

I will continue with my dedication to the Town of Quartzsite as Chief of Police, to serve and protect and to provide the best possible police services to the community. Again, I wish to thank everyone for their support.

Jeff Gilbert
Chief of Police
Quartzsite Police Department

[h/t J Jones]

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