Arizona official suspended after charges of running human-smuggling scheme

Phoenix • Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen, an elected official in Arizona, was suspended Monday after he was charged with running a human-smuggling scheme that brought pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to the U.S. to give birth and then paid them to give up their children for adoption.

Leaders in Arizona’s most populous county suspended Assessor Paul Petersen without pay for 120 days. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors doesn’t have the power to permanently remove him from his office, which determines the value of properties for tax purposes in Phoenix and its suburbs.

Petersen, who is in federal custody, has so far refused to resign since his arrest on Oct. 8. His lawyer, Kurt Altman, said Petersen will fight to keep the job he was last elected to in 2016.

Salt Lake Tribune:
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