Arizona Official In Human Smuggling Case Seeks To Keep Seat

An 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 to keep his job.

Lawyers for Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen told the county Board of Supervisors that 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 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.

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