Maricopa County is narrowing down its search for a replacement for former County Assessor Paul Petersen.
The County Board of Supervisors will interview five of the 11 candidates vying to serve out the rest of Petersen's term next week. The interviews will not be open to the public. The current term runs thru December 31st.
Petersen, who has been charged with running a human smuggling operation involving pregnant women from the Marshall Islands, resigned last month amid pressure from the board. He is accused of illegally paying women from the Pacific Island nation to come to the U.S. to give up their newborns in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas.
A defense attorney has said Petersen has done nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, an applicant for Maricopa County assessor has withdrawn his bid following evidence that he appeared to have plagiarized portions of his application.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports Michael Farrar dropped out from the pool of applicants.
The newspaper reports it did an online search and found that Farrar lifted passages from various websites and inserted them into his application.
Farrar says he withdrew because he's too busy to do the job and did so before the newspaper spoke to him about suspected plagiarism.