Petersen drags top county officials into legal battle to get his job back

Paul Petersen was sworn as county assessor in 2018.

Lawyers for the suspended county assessor want to know how much time Sheriff Paul Penzone, County Board members and others spend on the job

Author Brahm Resnik | 12 News

Attorneys for Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen are dragging top county officials into their bid to overturn Petersen’s four-month suspension.

In a sweeping request to Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel, Petersen’s lawyers are seeking to contrast the work hours of Sheriff Paul Penzone, Recorder Adrian Fontes, Treasurer Royce Flora, all five members of the County Board, as well as Adel, with the hours put in by Petersen. 

Petersen was suspended by the board two weeks ago for neglect of duty. He was jailed for four weeks while awaiting hearings on more than 60 felony charges in a three-state adoption scandal. 

The County Board named former county department head Bill Wiley to oversee the assessor’s office, at an annualized salary of about $150,000.

In a letter to the county attorney on Monday, Petersen attorneys Kory Langhofer and Thomas Basile ask the board and Adel to ensure that up to 13 county officials or employees testify at an anticipated hearing appealing Petersen’s suspension.


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