Slimy creatures such as certain politicians wither when the light of day hits them. Donald Trump has taken the nation down with his twitter bombs and rally cries against America’s morals, ethics, and yes — laws. This Arizona politician is right there with him.
This week an Arizona man was charged with selling babies to couples desperate to have their own children. The way he worked it was through a human smuggling scheme. He brought pregnant women from the Marshall Islands into the United States and paid them for their babies, according to ABC News.
Elected Arizona Maricopa County assessor, Republican Paul Peterson was indicted in Arkansas’s federal court as well as in Arizona and Utah:
‘He was charged with human smuggling, selling children, fraud, forgery, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.’
He arranged about 75 infant adoptions over a three-year period and had 30 pending adoptions in three states. Petersen was accused of illegally paying women from the Marshall Islands to have their babies in the United States. These women were crammed into homes owned or rented by Petersen, sometimes with little to no prenatal care, court documents said.
It has always been illegal to bring women from the Marshall Islands so that they can have their babies in the U.S., thus giving them American citizenship. Then, Petersen put the babies up for adoption, charging between $25,000 and $40,000 for each one, according to prosecutors.
The women were forced to live in cramped conditions in homes the assessor either rented or owned. According to the court documents, some of the women had little or no prenatal care.
He assessed properties for tax purposes in the Phoenix metro area. The Board of Supervisors uncovered his smuggling scheme, but its members do not have the legal authority to fire him, though. However, he was suspended from his assessor’s job for four months without pay.
His employers said that Arizona law gives them permission to suspend Peterson for “neglect of duty.” He qualified, given that he was in jail and could not go to work.
Even though Peterson is in federal custody for his crimes, he has refused to resign. In fact, his attorney Kurt Altman communicated that he intended to fight for the $77,000 per year job that he won in his 2016 election.
The man was familiar with the Marshall Islands, because he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Later, he came to the islands and worked for the federal government as an intermediary between the U.S. and an international adoption agency.
After that, he went to school to become an adoption attorney.
Auditors found that he kept his adoption business files stored on his county computer. The county forbids employees from using their computers for personal business. In addition, his county cellphone showed calls to:
[A]rkansas, Jamaica and the Philippines over the past six years and about 30 emails related to adoptions since Petersen became assessor in 2013. Board Chairman Bill Gates said the supervisors will look to appoint someone to fill Petersen’s position during the suspension.’
The attorney can defend him and may challenge the suspension as “unconstitutional.”
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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