Friday, May 03, 2013

East Mesa Justice of the Peace resigns after shoplifting charge; replacement process announced

From the Arizona Republic, written by Jim Walsh -

An East Mesa justice of the peace accused of shoplifting resigned Wednesday from the bench, citing medical problems. 
Judge Mark Chiles resigned effective May 31, according to a letter he sent to the Board of Supervisors. He was cited by Mesa police on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge on April 3 involving the theft of a $40 speaker from a Walmart near his court. 
“Although I believe that I have never acted with criminal intent, I wish to apologize for any embarrassment that my actions have caused my fellow judges, to the judicial system as a whole, and to my family,” Chiles wrote.

 The member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in whose district the East Mesa Justice Precinct falls is Steve Chucri.  He announced the instructions for applying to fill the opening (yes, there's a typo, but it isn't mine and it doesn't affect the meaning of the statement.  As such, it stays :) ) -

Following the official resignation of Justice of the Peace Mark Chiles, effective May 31, 2013, Supervisor Steve Chucri announced the process and timeline for appointing Chiles’ replacement.
Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and resume (including the individual’s home address, email address, and contact phone number) to the Clerk of the Board by 5:00 PM, Friday, May 24

. All documents filed with the Clerk’s Office will become public records. 
Per state law, all applicants must live in the East Mesa Justice Court District (§11-402) and be registered Republicans (§16-230(A)(2)). The individual appointed to fill the vacancy will serve out the remainder of the term which ends December 31, 2014.

Send letter of interest and resume to:
Fran McCarroll
Clerk of the Board
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
301 West Jefferson, 10th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 602-506-3766
Fax: 602-506-6402

 The press release mentions the two legal requirements (live in the district and be a Republican, a member of the same party as Chiles), but there are some characteristics that are recommended (though not legally required) -

JPs should have rubber arms.  They sign their names.  A lot.

JPs should have thick skins.  At least half the people who appear in front of them go away unhappy, and some have been known to express that unhappiness.  Loudly.

JPs should have patience.  More than half of the people who appear in front of them know little or nothing about the legal system and need explanations.

JPs should be willing to answer their phone at all hours.  They get phone calls from police agencies for telephonic warrants day or night, seven days a week.

JPs are the highest-paid elected officials in Arizona (yes, more than even the governor.  Maricopa County JPs: `$105K; the governor: $95K).  They should have the good taste not to shop (or shoplift) at WalMart.

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