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Arizona county officials may meet again; public is blocked the first time

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  1. Freedom of Information
County officials in Arizona may have to repeat a meeting they held last week in which several protesters and journalists…

County officials in Arizona may have to repeat a meeting they held last week in which several protesters and journalists were blocked from entering the room as a vote was held, according to The Associated Press.

The Maricopa County Supervisors in Mesa last week voted to cancel a police contract with the nearby town of Guadalupe, drawing the scrutiny of protesters who were angered over local illegal immigration enforcement tactics.

According to The AP, some protesters at the meeting spoke out of turn. One protester, Randy Parraz, was escorted out of the building by sheriff’s deputies and others in his group followed him out.

Police then blocked the front and side entrances to the meeting for 90 minutes to anyone who wanted in. That’s when the county supervisors took their vote.

One member of the board, Mary Rose Wilcox, told The AP that once the supervisors discovered the meeting was locked down to the public, they suspended it.

Attorney General Terry Goddard’s office is deciding whether or not the incident violated state laws.

If so, a lengthy written explanation will be required from the board and another meeting must be held in order to ratify last week’s decision.

"It’s obvious they have to have another meeting; it’s a matter of when," Parraz told the newswire. "Because the way they did it is illegal."