County supervisors examining options for ousting indicted assessor

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors prepares to go into executive session on Oct. 14, 2019, to discuss indicted county Assessor Paul Petersen.
/Photo by Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is looking into whether it can remove county Assessor Paul Petersen from office after he was indicted last week in an alleged adoption scheme involving women from the Marshall Islands.

In a closed-door executive session that lasted for more than an hour on Monday, the supervisors discussed legal issues with Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel and Tom Liddy, who heads up the office’s civil division. Supervisor Bill Gates, the board’s chairman, said the supervisors are still seeking additional information from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on whether it has the power to remove Petersen.

“We’re receiving legal advice on that, and we have additional questions as it relates to that. And we look forward to hearing back from the county attorney soon,” Gates said.

Gates said the board has also instructed the county’s auditor, Mike McGee, to determine whether Petersen used any public resources as part of his adoption business or the dozens of crimes with which he’s been charged. Fields Mosley, a spokesman for the county, said the board has no indication that county funds were used or mingled with Petersen’s business, but that it ordered the audit out of an abundance of caution.

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