BULLHEAD CITY — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has asked the Bullhead City Council and City Attorney Garn Emery to provide information about how some information related to Proposition 415 was placed on billboards and online.

Proposition 415 asks voters to authorize the city to acquire the local water delivery infrastructure from EPCOR Water Arizona, Inc. The referendum also spells out financing limits for a bond of up to $130 million at an interest rate not to exceed 8%.

Complaints allege that Bullhead City violated state law, ARS 9-500.14, pertaining to use of city resources to influence the outcome of an election. While informing voters about such proposals is allowed, information coming from government entities must be neither for nor against a proposal.

Snell & Wilmer LLP of Phoenix, the attorneys representing the EPCOR-sponsored Taxpayers Against City Takeover, as well as State Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, each sent complaints about the city to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Mohave County Attorney’s Office. Both TACT and Weninger assert that the city has been putting a partisan spin on some of the information given to the public about Proposition 415. 

The Government Accountability Unit, Appeals & Constitutional Litigation Division of the Attorney General’s Office is conducting the investigation. In correspondence dated Monday, Assistant Attorney General Keena Patel asked for details about who was responsible for making specific items public. 

Video content of Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady speaking at a meeting before the council approved putting the EPCOR acquisition proposal to voters was cited in the complaints. 

“I hope that the voters will see through all of EPCOR’s propaganda and greed and allow us to move forward with this acquisition,” Brady said. “So, this evening I will be voting yes on this item and I hope the citizens who trust my research and my judgment will do the same when they vote in November.”

Patel’s letter asked who authorized someone to crop that portion of video from the July 16 city council meeting. Also sought is who authorized posting it and who ultimately posted it.

Use of Brady’s negative comments during the meeting in other forms — and to potentially influence voters — is what TACT and Weninger consider unlawful.

Patel also wanted to know who managed the city’s online posts “on a daily basis,” how much time is spent managing those posts each day, and “the hourly salary of any person responsible for social media management.”

Both Facebook and the billboards were used to publish slogans: “Our City, Our Water, Our Rates” and “Local Control = Local Benefit”.  

Also of interest to Patel is who created the content for the digital billboard advertisements, who authorized the content for them, who executed that content and cost for a member of the public to digitally advertise on the billboards.

The city has 30 days to respond to the letter.

“A failure to timely respond to this letter will be noted in evaluating whether action under ARS 9-500.14 may be necessary,” Patel added.

(3) comments

Fort Mohave Resident

The City Mayor and City Manager clearly broke the law and they should be held responsible for their actions. These two act as they are above the law. I hope they are made example of. These two are not helping the City they are bullies in this town and think they can get away with what ever they want. Eventually every bully gets his day and gets knocked down. It time to throw the book at Shady Brady and his Puppet cotter. Brady being the ring leader should go to jail.


GSullen

I find this completely absurd that our city government has put our taxpayer dollars in jeopardy over social media & billboard misuse. Then to read that the portion of our Mayor’s ill comments were also removed from the council meeting video is even more disturbing. What are we dealing with here? A government that can’t abide by the law and misuses city resources. When people say corrupt now, I have to agree. This government should be ashamed of themselves. You want us to trust you with 130M yet you can’t abide by simple election laws? You do NOT get my vote! If I find out that the taxpayers are at the helm to pay any portion of their wrongdoing, I will be seeing them at the next council meeting to declare them all in public that they should be removed from their seat, immediately.


ortiz

The article talks about accusations of violation of election laws. The city is allowed to post "facts" about the proposition 415. Everyone knows the city council is in favor of approval otherwise they wouldn't have voted to place it up for a vote. The people filing a complaint with the Attorney General are the EPCOR funded PAC that is opposed to the proposition and the legislator to Whom EPCOR donated money for his election. Those complaining don't have all the facts about this situation. Just know that if this fails your water bill could easily triple. So why do I say that. The facts are: EPCOR just purchased the water district in Parker, AZ. It has a $7.5 million dollar problem which is why they could purchase it so cheaply. They have been asked by the Arizona Corporation Commission to propose their new rates next year by consolidating their districts that are geographically linked. So they will be consolidating the rates for all customers for Mohave, North Mohave, North Havasu, Willow Valley and Parker. North Havasu, Willow Valley and Parker are small districts. We are in Mohave with around 25,000 customers and north mohave with about 15,000 customers. Parker has 2,000 and that is around what the other two have. So Willow Valley has an arsenic issues and it is very costly to treat their water. Parker has an immediate needed to infuse $7.5 million. So in order to keep rates low for the smaller districts, there will be consolidation to combine everyone together for same rates. That basically means that Bullhead City will be subsidizing all other districts. The consequences for the future of pricing is scary. This is a profit making business. Only money spent for infrastructure gets rewarded with an allowance for profit. Guess what that means? Big increases. No one should have to pay profits for their water service. Vote Yes on 415 and create a municipal water company that operates as a not for profit. It only makes sense. We the people paid for the water lines yet the private companies own them. Find out how that happened and why the community needs to own their common area water lines. Contact your State Representative and ask to have that requirement made in law.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.