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Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:28 PM

Official quits amid charges he paid women to give up babies

Source: AP

By JACQUES BILLEAUD

PHOENIX (AP) ó An elected official in metro Phoenix resigned Tuesday, months after being charged with running a human smuggling operation that paid pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to give up their babies in the U.S.

The resignation of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen came after leaders in the one of the nationís most populous counties suspended and pressured him to resign after his arrest nearly three months ago. The countyís governing board voted in late December to start the process of removing Petersen, who also works as an adoption attorney.

He is accused of illegally paying women from the Pacific island nation to come to the United States to give up their babies in at least 70 adoption cases in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas over three years. Citizens of the Marshall Islands have been prohibited from traveling to the U.S. for adoption purposes since 2003.

In a statement released by his attorneys, Petersen proclaimed his innocence and said he never neglected his duties as assessor, responsible for determining the property values in the county. The Republican said county officials and news organizations presumed he was guilty.



FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo, Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen leaves court in Salt Lake City. He resigned from his elected position on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, months after being charged with running a human smuggling operation that paid pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to give up their babies in the U.S. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)


Read more: https://apnews.com/7a9bd4b575f067fe2aa23a3155398223

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Reply Official quits amid charges he paid women to give up babies (Original post)
Omaha Steve Jan 2020 OP
keithbvadu2 Jan 2020 #1
Demovictory9 Jan 2020 #4
fierywoman Jan 2020 #2
Hekate Jan 2020 #3
riversedge Jan 2020 #6
mysteryowl Jan 2020 #5
Farmer-Rick Jan 2020 #7

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

1. And cheated Medicaid for their care.

And cheated Medicaid for their care.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:42 AM

4. crook

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:11 AM

2. An anti-abortion person, I presume?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:33 AM

3. IIRC from when this first broke, his connection to the Marshall Is. was that he served his Mormon...

...mission there. So, while it is entirely possible that he rationalized his behavior in some way ("helping" poor unwed women or something), the fact is that he monetized his religious experience to benefit himself -- and he broke secular law, bigly.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 07:37 AM

6. Taking advantage of the poor and distressed is one of the worst things anyone can do in my book.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 01:00 AM

5. Why is he not in jail?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:13 PM

7. Buying babies for cheap and selling them high

Capitalism and slavery combine so well.

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