Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson got an apology from Board Chairwoman Hildy Angius after she told a local radio station she was “ambushed” by the board majority into voting to raise taxes in 2015.
During last week’s supervisors meeting, Johnson recommended submitting an alleged open meeting law complaint on three members of the board — Supervisor Gary Watson of District 1, Supervisor Jean Bishop of District 4, and himself – to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for investigation.
Johnson was referring to a recent interview Angius gave to a radio station, in which she said she was “ambushed” by the board majority who used a “gimmick” to make her vote to raise taxes back in 2015, which she regrets.
An investigation is needed to protect his own reputation, Johnson said, explaining it is essential so his constituents know he was not conspiring to raise taxes behind their backs.
“I’m stating for the record that I had no contact with either Supervisor Watson or Bishop on the budget proposal that I made at the meeting in question,” he said, and made a motion to submit the complaint to the Attorney General.
“I don’t think any action is needed,” said County Attorney Ryan Esplin, trying to mediate. He recommended the complaint should be filed by an individual, for example Johnson, and not by the board. It wouldn’t be “wise,” he said to pit one supervisor against another.
Angius apologized to Johnson and said she is OK with any action the board wants to take.
“If Supervisor Angius has proof we did it …” Johnson continued.
“I have no proof, “Angius said. “It was just a feeling that I misstated as fact. I apologize. And I apologize publicly.”
“It is water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned,” said Bishop, who pointed out that the board is “not perfect,” but never breaks the open meeting law intentionally.
“Not guilty and accept your apology,” Watson said to Angius.