County board starts process to suspend Petersen from office

By Dillon Rosenblatt | Arizona Capitol Times

Maricopa County Assessor and alleged child trafficker Paul Petersen will find out if he is suspended without pay from his elected post when the county board of supervisors votes on October 28.

Petersen is facing felony charges in three states, including Arizona, for running an illegal adoption fraud scheme.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who met in executive session for roughly two hours today, determined they have enough reason to vote on whether Petersen should face a 120-day suspension. Under Arizona law, Petersen must have fives days notice of the vote, including the weekend. He’s in federal custody awaiting arraignment in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Arkansas.

The board, by law, can seek Petersen’s removal, but Chairman Bill Gates, who is the only supervisor to talk to media after the meeting, did not say what would happen after the 120-day period is up.

“We will cross that bridge when we get to that,” Gates said.

Editor’s note: At deadline, 12News reported documents from Peterseen’s adoption business were found on his county computer. 

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