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

Dec 12, 2019

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.

In this Nov. 15, 2019 file photo Paul Petersen appears at court in the Matheson courthouse in Salt Lake City Utah with his attorney Scott Williams. The Arizona elected official accused of paying women from a poor Pacific island nation to give their babies up for adoption in the United States made an appeal Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 to keep his job.
Credit (Scott G. Winterton/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

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.