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1/15/2013 6:01:00 AM
Moss: No special favors given to Mohave County donors
Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Steven Moss
Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Steven Moss

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Steven Moss said he's not trading favors for campaign donations after the Board of Supervisors reappointed his campaign treasurer to the county planning and zoning commission and approved a two-year lease with a company owned by two of his campaign donors.

Moss says he was unaware the building he picked out for his new office is owned by two of his campaign donors - Robert Schwartzman and Stacey Sanderson. Sanderson was contacted for this story but did not return a phone call before deadline.

"The county gave me a list of about a half a dozen places to look at," he said. "This actually wasn't my first choice.

"I was looking at another office, but they wanted the same amount of money for a space that was about a thousand square feet smaller."

According to campaign finance records, Schwartzman donated $430 to Moss' campaign in May and Sanderson donated $200 in July.

"The county (Procurement Department) is the one who negotiated the lease," he said. "Anyone can donate to a campaign. There is no quid pro quo here."

Mehdi Azarmi, a county planning and zoning commissioner and Moss' campaign treasurer, also donated $430 in February. He was reappointed to serve as a zoning commissioner for Moss' district.

Azarmi was contacted but did not return a phone call before deadline.

Moss pointed out that Arizona Revised Statute 38-503 defines a conflict of interest as "Any public officer or employee of a public agency who has, or whose relative has, a substantial interest in any contract, sale, purchase or service to (a) public agency."

Ruth Jones, a professor at Arizona State University's Department of Political Science, said the relationship seemed "cozy."

"As long as the contributions are within the contribution limits (and these appear to be), almost anyone can make a contribution to a campaign," she wrote in an email to the Miner.

Moss said while he is friends with Schwartzman, Azarmi and the Sandersons, they are not related to him and he has not gotten any money out of the lease of the building or from reappointing Azarmi.

Moss also pointed out that former District 2 Supervisor Tom Sockwell appointed Azarmi to the commission more than four years ago. Moss said he didn't support Sockwell's bid for re-election last year. He threw his support behind Angius, who eventually won the seat.

"I think Mehdi is a good man. We don't always agree with each other, but I like that when he disagrees with me, he disagrees to my face," Moss said. "I still thought he made a pretty good choice."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Moss

Hi Mr. Williams- I don't know about the other supervisors, but looking at the general plan is on my list.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Reggie At Valley Vista

All these guys need to know they are supervisors of the COUNTY. They are not dukes of their own private Fiefdom's (districts). It takes three votes to do anything. Supervisors cannot give individual orders. We already had that back in the corrupt day. We all pay taxes to support them, But most of the taxes and population of the county ARE IN THE CITIES.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

Steve, So far I think the new supervisors are doing a very good job. So I wouldn't sweat the small stuff as has come out here.There has been a lot more questionable appointments and business gone on in the Taj Mahal than meets the eye. However I would like to see the County General Plan revisited. It was gutted by Walker and un-named supervisors, by changing Shall and Will to May.

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Article comment by: We The People(me) Thinking

AS for mr. Azarmi : his track record regarding-call to the public & (new)version general plan speaks for themselves- if the general plan is to represent the vision of we the people, then don't you think we the people should(shall) be a part of that process
??instead of a few hand pick tac committee-the purpose of the citizen advisory committee is to be apart of and participate in local government,being reduce to (maybe) like an after thought is just plain wrong!!

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

Supervisor Moss is very good about responding to letters and citizens. This alone is a big plus and his effort to communicate will be a huge asset in the future. It would seem that everybody knows somebody in Mohave County but as an attorney Moss has made many friends in the community. It might look a little suspicious when you connect the dots but I'd say this: Steve Moss is simply not that stupid to start his service as a Mohave County Supervisor with a grand slam of corruption and pay back favoritism. Each Supervisor will be or has appointed someone to a board or commission already. Do you want them to appoint someone whom they know nothing about or someone with a good track record they can work with? I think we ought to give these new Supervisors a chance before we toss bricks at them.

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Moss

Ms. Perkins- I hereby promise not to use my supervisor's office as a law office.

As to the distance issue, the bulk of Ms. Brotherton and Mr. Watson's constitutents are centered around Kingman. Mine are split between Fort Mohave and LHC, and the areas in between.

As to renting, I'm trying to save money while still being available to my constituents.

There is no space in the LHC county annex, unless I evicted the health department (which would have caused them to spend money on rent, would have impaired their delivery of services and would have caused tens of thousands in remodel costs due to fire doors, bathrooms, etc.) or evicted Supervisor Johnson (who apparently did not want to leave but would have had to pay rent, or evict the health department, if I had).

I think I made the most cost effective decision by renting in LHC Hall.

Eventually, District 5 will need a permenant Supervisors office. I prefer to wait until times improve (there are more important things we need to do other than build more buildings) and until then get by on cost effective short 2 year leases.

I hope I answered your questions.

Steve Moss

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Article comment by: Please Don't Use Us Like So Many of Our Reps. Do

You're given the chance to represent all the people of your district and those of Mohave county. We trust you will do the legal and moral things when representing us.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Excuse Me?

I'm really confused about Roger Davis's comment. You assert that a newspaper is somehow required to only report on news as it affects an imaginary coverage area. First of all, that sounds rather silly. As a resident of the outskirts of Kingman, I have interest in a lot of what's going on in the region, state, country and world. I'm not offended by the inclusion of information about happening outside the city.

HOWEVER as a resident of the county, any supervisor spending county taxpayer dollars concerns me. I'm not sure I agree with Supervisor Moss' offices one way or the other, but I can say the opportunity to review this information is welcome. Whether he's my Supervisor or not, it's still our money.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Davis

@ Francis Perkins
Nothing in this article is about whether he has 1 or 2 offices or whether he overspent his budget in requesting, staffing and operating 2 offices. It is about whether he appeared to return favors for the donations he received from certain supporters in choosing an office that the county referred or in reappointing a person who has already served in that position and as far as I am concerned, did a commendable job.
Lastly, to diverge from topic and respond to your argument. Supervisor Moss lives in Fort Mohave, not in Bullhead City where there are county offices. Your comparison to the other two supervisor is apple and oranges. The majority of their constituents are located in one general area, not in two. I could care less whether Supervisor Moss maintained an office in Yucca, Buckeye Heights, Topock or Golden Shores. He should, as a good representive, listen to their concerns, but these are rural areas that will not have an effect on whether he is re-elected or not. But the Fort Mohave/Mohave Valley and northern 1/3 of Lake Havasu are probably close in population. If he can maintain 2 offices while staying within the alotted budget set and approved by previous administrations, so be it. If you don't like the alotted budget, then get off your "lazy chair" and take your argument to where it matters, the county.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Roger Davis

What is the point of this article? Doesn't this paper have more important issues to investigate than someone else's Supervisor. About the only District 2 zoters reading your paper are ones in Yucca. Seriously, is that who you are talking to?
As a District 2 voter (from Yucca) and who runs a business that covers customers in Golden Shores, Mohave Valley and Fort Mohave. I can assure you this story has been a total waste of time, money and paper.
Do your reader base a favor and focus on 2 districts that they have a voting effect and leave the the other three districts to their newspapers!

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Earl Hamlyn

Mehdi Azarmi county planning and zoning commissioner served with me when I was on the Commission as Chairman. I would like to tell you, there is no better commissioner than Mr. Azarmi.
Mehdi Azarmi works for Mohave County with all of his abilities and they are extensive. Mr. Azarmi is tirelessly working for a BETTER Mohave County, as Mr. Moss has said not everyone agrees with each other all time, but we all share a common goal of a better Mohave County. Mr. Azarmi has a right to contribute to any and all candidates he feels will serve in the best interest of Mohave County. It is his right, just like it would be your right. Mr. Moss made a wise decision placing Mr. Azarmi on the commission he will as always do a great job for Mohave County.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: We The People(me) Thinking

Mr. Azarmi,
As I recall did not stand for the people when it came (call to the public) and has voted for the changes to lower the peoples ability to participate in the development of the general plan(new)citizens participation from-shall to maybe-sorry just a little to cozy & shady-as we all know this new version of the general plan was not a review but a board same old dung hole, lets see who has the guts to bring up the issue's concerning the general plan!

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

This distance argument is a red herring. Both Brotherton and Watson have far larger districts and did not ask for offices in Dolan Springs, Peach Springs, Littlefield or Colorado City. Your supporters will defend this two office policy, the first in Mohave County history, so the rest of us will not question it anymore. Are you guaranteeing that you will not do your personal law business out of taxpayer paid offices?

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Well according to Samual Adams, we should be expecting additional offices for District 1 and 4. They certainly qualify under his definition of mileage.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: gun owner 000

If the new BOS were to be sincere about saving the County money, they would move into their offices in the camp trailers in BOS parking lot.

Not only would this save the County a bunch of money, but it would get all of them acclimated to living in tents...should any one of them go wrong.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Gabby B

We actually have a Supervisor that responds to the comments made here?
Well.... will wonders never cease!
Keep it up sir.... you have proven that Supervisors can talk to the residents without making them feel subordinate to them!

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

As long as it's fiscally responsible (no laughing) I'd rather see the BoS have their main offices near their constituents and a smaller office in the County building. If their District is within 10-15 miles of the County building...then no second office.

They don't need anything opulent for conducting County business at the County building. I'm sure there are meeting rooms for those times it's required.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

If Mr. Moss needs two offices, which is doubtful, why rent? The County has office buildings in both communities, why not just use existing space, or rearrange it. All the empty spaces in County buildings? Look at development services in Kingman. Half empty. Did Mike show you that or avoided seeing it? The multi-million dollar taj mahal public works building. Then y'all criticize the library for renting outside space, and rightly so. Then you try to give away county buildings to Bullhead City. Do you work for this City? In reality that doesn't save anyone a cent. Seems a lot of hypocrisy in this space discussion.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Samuel Adams

@ Ms. Perkins,

Mr. Moss's district is unique in that it includes the northern 1/3 of Lake Havasu City to the south, and Mohave Valley/Ft. Mohave area to the north. Then there is Topock/Golden Shores just north of the I-40 in the middle. There is a 50 minute drive between the two areas, so it's very responsible to have two offices to meet the needs of all the constituents.

Mr. Moss is not an egotist, and nothing has 'gone to his head' since he is the only Supervisor who took a pay cut to take this job. So it's silly to accuse him of anything other than meeting the needs of the people who he serves.

Last, the P&Z is a volunteer commission, so there's no 'pecuniary benefit' for being on the COmmission, where Mr. Azarmi is already serving. By the way, check out who's contributed to Buster Johnson's and Sue Donahue's campaigns, this past year and year's past. See just how many contributors to Buster and/or his assistant Sue are on the various Commissions established by the County.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Heather Brennan


This is a new Supervisor Paid Position. There was no prior office for Mr. Moss to use. I am just curious what you mean by already having a paid office to use.

If Mr. Moss is under budget with having the Lake Havasu City suite and the one here in Fort Mohave why should we care. As far as I see it he will be saving tax payers money by having a local office to use in Fort Mohave. Otherwise the county will be paying for gas and mileage put on the county vehicle if he is to drive to Lake Havasu everyday.

I just think people try to find fault in everyone. Its sad. Nobody is perfect. Were things just to quite and going to well so we have to find something to write about. How about we put in the paper all the great things going on in the Tri-State area. How about we talk about growth in our communities and the kids in our communities that are doing wonderful things.

Just my opinion...

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Moss has already become a thorn in the sides of the "good old boys" and it didn't take long for them to start spewing garbage about him.

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Moss

A couple of clarifications:

The difference between the potential two offices is about 300 sq. ft., not a 1,000. The office I'm renting is the 1,000 sq. ft. office and is cheaper per sq. ft. I think I garbled this during the interview.

During the interview I was asked about Dan Oehler being an owner, which was news to me (and later determined erroneous, he's only the statutory agent). When I first looked at it, I did know about Stacey Sanderson, but not the other 3. And her office was actually my 5th overall choice, but it was 2nd on the list the county gave me to look at (there are technical requirements, price or occupancy issues at the other office choices).

Finally to Ms. Perkins, yes I know I'm not a senator. For one thing, a senator would't bother responding. :) As a supervisor I'm given an office budget. I squeezed that budget and came up with the $200 per month Lake Havasu wants for an office in the city annex. I'd wager that I'll still come in under budget, while at the same time ensuring that both the Fort Mohave and LHC residents will all have easy access to me, if they need or want it. If they don't, I can close it down as there is no long term commitment either way (i.e. if LHC doesn't want me it can throw me out or I can leave whenever I want).

If you have follow up questions, my email is


Steve Moss

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Did you even ask Moss why he needs two taxpayer paid offices when no one else has two? As a County supervisor? That's just crazy. As Moss claims he is saving all this money for the County. It's like the time Jerry Holt in Havasu had the County pay him rent to use his own house as an office. There is something about County supervisor that goes to people's head. Someone needs to tell them they are not US senators.

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