Action Calls Diamond Star Incorporation Illegal

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G. Michael Horton's Terra Star Valley 40, George Randall, Roy Haught and others have filed another legal action aimed at the incorporation of the town of Diamond Star.

Late last week, the same group whose earlier lawsuit was rejected by the courts, filed documents seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard "to commence a quo warranto action" against the Gila County Board of Supervisors, the Town of Diamond Star, and its individual legislative officers "due to illegal incorporation."

By definition, a writ of mandamus commands an official (Goddard) to perform an act the law recognizes as an "absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion" and a writ of quo warranto is a procedure used to prevent an official or legal entity (Gila County and the Town of Diamond Star) from "exercising its authority in an unlawful manner." In other words, the group filing the action wants Goddard to shut the town down.

Others signing the document include Randall and Haught's wives, Victoria A. Randall and Yvonne Marie Haught, Raymond M. Cline and Patricia A. Cline, Charles S. Hall and Susan E. Hall, Larry D. Gay and Antoinette D. Gay, James S. Armstrong and Dana A. Armstrong, and Gray Horse Homes.

Citing state law, they claim the incorporation of Diamond Star was illegal because a "purported annexation petition contained numerous defects."

Not returning phone calls or declining to discuss the filing were Diamond Star Town Attorney Fredda Bisman, Payson Town Attorney Sam Streichman (who notified the Payson Town Council of the action on Friday), and Diamond Star Town Clerk Diane McDaniel (who did confirm that Goddard had received a copy of the documents).

The earlier lawsuit challenging the town's right to incorporate was filed in November and tossed out by Superior Court Judge Colin Campbell in February.

The Diamond Star Town Council has scheduled three meetings for Tuesday, March 7 at Star Valley Baptist Church, 4180 E. Highway 260:

  • The Work Study session at 4:30 p.m. is open to the public. The agenda includes a discussion of the request for proposals from area banks, discussion of the educational and professional requirements of the applicants for town manager, and discussion on naming Bill Rappaport chair of a Blue Ridge Water Committee.
  • An Executive Session at 5:30 p.m. is closed to the public. The agenda includes discussion and legal advice on water issues and on the latest legal action by Horton, Randall, Haught and others.
  • The regular Diamond Star Town Council Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. The agenda includes possible action on the items discussed in the work study meeting.

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