Maricopa County elected officials say Petersen should resign

October 10, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County elected officials from both parties are calling on embattled County Assessor Paul Petersen to step down as he faces human smuggling charges.

The five-member Board of Supervisors said in a joint statement Thursday that Petersen resigning would “ensure his legal issues don’t distract him from leading the County Assessor’s Office.” The county treasurer and recorder also said he should step down.

Petersen leads an agency that determines the taxable value for more than 1.7 million properties in the nation’s fourth most populous county.

Prosecutors in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas say he illegally brought pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to have their babies in the United States and give them up for adoption.

His attorney says Petersen followed “proper business practices.”