LB - Auto Racing Upickem

Home | Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Obituaries | Subscriber Services | Kingman Digital | Contact Us
Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : regional May 26, 2016


1/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
TALE OF THE TAPE
Technicalities mar start of Sides' hearing
Jerry Sides
Jerry Sides

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Former county employee Jerry Sides' hearing before the Mohave County Employee Merit Commission got off on the wrong foot Wednesday morning when the commission questioned his right to videotape the hearing.

It also dismissed two motions from Sides' representative, Steven Robinson, to overturn the county's decision to fire Sides based on two technicalities of the county's merit rules.

Jerry Sides was fired from his job in the county public works department after two county employees accused him of campaigning while on the job. Sides ran for the District 1 Supervisor seat last year.

Kate Baker, an attorney hired to represent the county in the hearing, pointed out the video camera and asked the commission to order Sides not use the footage to intimidate any witnesses and not to show it to any witnesses or any third parties, including the press, without a court order.

"I have those same concerns as well," said Commissioner Charlotte Wells.

Another commissioner requested that the video not be used for future lawsuits against county employees.

"I don't plan to use it for those purposes," said Robinson.

He protested, noting that the meeting was open to the public and state open meeting laws allow the public to record such meetings.

Wells stated that she didn't think the state's open meeting laws applied to this hearing. She ordered Robinson not to release the tapes to any third parties, show them to any witnesses or use them in any future litigation without a court order.

According to the County's Merit Rules, employees who appear before the commission can request that their hearing be open to the public. However, the merit rules and state statutes do not say if merit commission hearings open to the public fall under the state's open meeting laws.

The commission also heard and dismissed Robinson's argument that the hearing should be terminated because the first hearing in the case was not held within the 120-day time limit imposed by the county's merit rules.

Wells dismissed the argument, saying the first official hearing in the case was held in November, well before the 120-day limit had run out.

She also dismissed Robinson's second motion that the hearing was in violation of the county's merit rules because a hearing officer had not been assigned to the case before it was given to the commission.

She pointed out that the formal witness testimony in the hearing was delayed because the commission had to sort through all of Robinson's evidence in the first hearing in order to weed out irrelevant information.

Wells stated that the county had never used a hearing officer before and there was no money set aside by the Board of Supervisors to hire one. Besides this was the most direct way for Sides to argue his case that he was unjustly fired.

After opening statements, Baker called private investigator Keith Sobraske to the stand and spent the rest of the day questioning him about his investigation of Sides. Testimony continues today.





ICT - Trotters RV
Related Stories:
• Mohave County panel upholds firing of Sides
• Sides: Silence of witnesses sabotages case
• Sides' case ripped apart at appeals reading


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Panhandler boosted income with an identity theft operation, Kingman Police say (5117 views)

•   Drug overdose investigation leads to murder charge (4173 views)

•   Arizona rules to change for brake light infractions (2773 views)

•   Kingman's Army Air Field Museum closing (2616 views)

•   Kingman burglary spree investigation sparks arrests (2462 views)



Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Article comment by: Censureship of Media ?

I don't understand why Merit Commission Chair Charlotte Wells, as an attorney, did not know she could not rightfully prevent people from videotaping the public hearing, until Attorney Baker gently disuaded her. Did she think it was a Merit Commission rule that takes precedence over federal law?

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Article comment by: Discretion Misuse

"Wells stated that she didn't think the state's open meeting laws applied to this hearing."

Wells didn't seem to think several other laws applied to this hearing either. MAYBE exact wording does not make them apply . . ., but MAYBE it does make them apply ---- could be a matter of WHO's interpretation? It seems alot of things were within the Merit Commission's own discretion, but they chose to allow things when they were favorable only to the County! What a farce! Robinson's objections to some of what Baker AND THE COMMISSION presented had merit, but were disallowed. Is it fear causing the County and it's minion, the Merit Commission, to be so tyrannical, or is it a need to exert dominance, as has been prevalent in the County's Walker-era history?


Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Article comment by: We Know How Good the County

Kate's doing a great job I can tell already. Anytime "technicalities" come up in a legal proceding it's all over. So county make an offer - something like we'll give you your job back without back pay. Okay... What about with back pay. Okay.... What about with backpay and a million bucks.



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Kingman Chamber News
House Ad- Dining Guide
Auto Racing Upickem
Find more about Weather in Kingman, AZ
Click for weather forecast






Find it Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Find Kingman Jobs | Kingman Chamber | e-News | Contact Us | RSS | Site Map
LB - Auto Racing Upickem

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Kingman Daily Miner is the information source for Kingman and surrounding area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Kingman Daily Miner Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, kdminer.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Kingman Daily Miner Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.


Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved