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Maricopa County Assessor Accused Of Human Smuggling Seeks To Keep His Job

(Scott G. Winterton/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

The Maricopa County Assessor accused of paying women from a poor Pacific island nation to give their babies up for adoption in the United States has made an appeal to keep his job.

Lawyers for Paul D. Petersen told the county Board of Supervisors Wednesday he did not neglect his duties in office despite spending three weeks in jail before he was able to post bond. Peterson didn’t attend the hearing.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in October to place Petersen on an unpaid suspension for 120 days, ruling he'd neglected his office and used his county computer to do work for his adoption business.

Petersen has pleaded not guilty in Arizona, Arkansas and Utah to charges stemming from his law firm's adoption practice.

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