Greenlee County Superior Court Judge Monica Stauffer has vacated and declared void a preliminary injunction enjoining the Cochise County Board of Supervisors from taking any further action to appoint former District 1 Supervisor Pat Call as Sierra Vista’s Justice of the Peace.
Stauffer, the Presiding Judge at Greenlee County Superior Court, made the ruling during a hearing on Friday morning at Cochise County Superior Court’s Division 6, in Sierra Vista, according to County officials.
Stauffer agreed to hear the case after it was assigned outside of Cochise County to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Stauffer blasted Cochise County Superior Court Judge Laura Cardinal, “It is extraordinary when a court holds any hearing where only one side is represented.”
Stauffer said the ex parte order signed by Cochise County Superior Court Judge Laura Cardinal on February 25 had failed to meet several legal requirements. These included failure to adequately inform and engage the respondents – the Board of Supervisors – or its attorney, and failure to show reason why Call’s appointment would cause injury or irreparable harm to complainant David Welch.
Attorney Jim Jellison, acting on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, argued Judge Cardinal had also failed to declare a conflict of interest when signing the order. In an email to Cochise County Superior Court Presiding Judge James Conlogue, following Call’s appointment, Cardinal had expressed disappointment and disagreement with the Board’s actions taken during an open session on February 12.
In making her ruling, Judge Stauffer said the case showed a clear abuse of discretion.
Call, who was a supervisor when his fellow supervisors appointed him on February 12 to serve as justice of the peace for Precinct Five.
Call was sworn in by Judge Conlogue on February 25 after Cardinal issued the preliminary injunction enjoining the BOS and the individual supervisors from taking any “further action to appoint” Call to the position.