ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County picks $72-an-hour fill-in for suspended assessor

Oct 30, 2019, 5:11 PM | Updated: 9:57 pm
Bill Wiley (US Army Corps of Engineers Photo)...
Bill Wiley (US Army Corps of Engineers Photo)
(US Army Corps of Engineers Photo)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday named an interim replacement for Assessor Paul Petersen, who was suspended this week after being charged with human trafficking.

In a unanimous vote, Bill Wiley was appointed acting administrator for the metro Phoenix assessor’s office.

Wiley’s experience with the county includes stints as Flood Control District chief engineer and Air Quality Department director.

He’ll be paid more than $72 per hour in the temporary role, about double Peterson’s assessor salary.

Petersen was suspended without pay Monday for 120 days, the maximum allowed under state law.

The board called for Petersen’s resignation after his Oct. 8 arrest, but he hasn’t complied.

He pleaded not guilty to federal charges in Arkansas on Tuesday. He was released on $100,000 bond and ordered to wear an ankle monitor.

He’d been in custody since his arrest in Arizona following his indictment on 32 counts in three states, including sale of a child, conspiracy and fraud.

He also faces charges in Arizona and Utah.

The case spans three years and involves some 75 adoptions, authorities said, with about 30 adoptions pending.

Petersen is accused of illegally paying women from the Marshall Islands to have their babies in the United States and give them up for adoption. The women were crammed into homes owned or rented by Petersen, sometimes with little to no prenatal care, court documents say.

Petersen charged families $25,000 to $40,000 per adoption, prosecutors said.

He also is accused of claiming the women were Arizona residents on paperwork to get them state-funded health care coverage, bilking Arizona’s Medicaid system out of more than $800,000.

County auditors found hundreds documents related to Petersen’s adoption business on his county-issued computer, a fact cited by the board in its decision to suspend him for neglect of duty.

Petersen’s attorney has said prosecutors have miscast his client as a human smuggler.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Screenshot)...
KTAR.com

Watch: Maricopa County meets to canvass 2022 general election

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is meeting to canvass the 2022 general election. The livestreamed meeting includes public comments.
11 hours ago
Drummer Lars Ulrich (L) and frontman James Hetfield of Metallica perform at Allegiant Stadium on Fe...
Kevin Stone

Metallica to invade State Farm Stadium with pair of ‘No Repeat’ shows in 2023

Nothing else will matter for metro Phoenix metalheads next year when Metallica brings a double shot of headbanging to State Farm Stadium.
11 hours ago
FILE - An election worker verifies a ballot on a screen inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office...
Associated Press

Arizona counties face deadline to certify 2022 election

Six Arizona counties must decide Monday whether to certify 2022 election results amid pressure from some Republicans not to officially approve a vote count that had Democrats winning for U.S. Senate, governor and other statewide races.
11 hours ago
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)...
KTAR.com

Man found shot, dead inside car parked on Phoenix street

A man with a gunshot wound was found dead inside a vehicle Sunday in Phoenix and police said they're investigating the case as a homicide.
11 hours ago
(Facebook photo / Phoenix Police Department)...
SuElen Rivera

Interim Phoenix police chief unveils 4-part plan to improve department

Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan announced last week a four-pronged plan to reduce and prevent crime in the city.
11 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
KTAR.com

Ice skating returns to downtown Phoenix at CityScape

Skaters can waltz around the downtown Phoenix rink as CitySkate returns just in time for the holidays this week.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Maricopa County picks $72-an-hour fill-in for suspended assessor