Former AZ Politician Appeals Prison Sentence In Adoption Scheme

Feb 19, 2021

A former Arizona politician who acknowledged running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving birth mothers from the Marshall Islands has asked an appeals court to throw out his six-year prison sentence.

(AP file photo) Former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen, right, walks with his attorney, Kurt Altman, as they leave a court hearing in Phoenix, Nov. 5, 2019.
Credit Jacques Billeaud | AP file photo

The lawyer for former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen argued a judge double-counted factors that increased the severity of his punishment, such as concluding Petersen abused his position as an adoption attorney. A month ago, he started serving the sentence for a conviction in Arkansas for conspiring to smuggle people. Petersen is scheduled to be sentenced next month for fraud in Arizona and for human smuggling in Utah.