PHOENIX — Embattled Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen is appealing the county board's decision to suspend him from office.
Petersen has refused to resign despite facing criminal charges in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas tied to his adoption business.
The board unanimously voted to suspend Petersen for 120 days because of his absence from office during his legal proceedings.
As his attorney previously told 12 News, Petersen is appealing the suspension.
In a letter to the Board of Supervisors, Petersen's attorneys claim that the county audit analyzing whether he used county resources for his adoption business failed to show that Petersen neglected his duties as assessor.
In fact, Petersen's attorneys claim Petersen was in contact with the chief deputy assessor to discuss "various projects and activities" of the assessor's office while he was still in federal custody.
His attorneys also argue that because the allegations against Petersen are unrelated to his official duties, the board has no grounds to force Petersen from office.
The board said it would schedule a meeting to set up a hearing process. An exact date has not yet been set.
"The Board of Supervisors respects Assessor Petersen’s decision to appeal his suspension based on ARS 11-664. The Board will schedule and notice a meeting in the near future regarding a hearing process. Board members remain committed to following the law and doing what is in the best interest of the Assessor’s Office and the 4.5 million residents of Maricopa County."
You can read the full letter sent to the county board here.