Dropped lawsuit claimed Queen Creek council candidates’ nominating petitions were invalid

A lawsuit, since dropped, questioned the validity of the nominating petitions for Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney and Councilwoman Julia Wheatley and listed 15 other defendants.

Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney

The lawsuit was filed June 13 in Maricopa County Superior Court. It was dismissed June 21-22, according to information at superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket.

“The court finds that the nominating petitions in question substantially comply with statutory requirements and would not confuse or mislead electors signing the petitions,” according to minutes of a June 19 hearing before Judge Daniel G. Martin.

“It is ordered dismissing this matter with prejudice, each party to bear their own attorney’s fees and costs,” another document states.

David Olaf Schaeler filed civil case CV-2018-008811, according to the website.

Councilwoman Julia Wheatley

Replies have not yet been received from e-mails for comment sent July 12 to Mayor Barney, Councilwoman Wheatley and a family member of Mr. Schaeler’s.

According to the Maricopa County Superior Court website, in addition to Mr. Barney and Ms. Wheatley, defendants were: Denny Barney, Steve Churci, Bill Gates, Clint L Hickman, Steve Gallardo, Adrian Fonte, Renaldo Valenzuela, Pete Rios, Mike Goodman, Steve Miller, Anthony Smith, Todd House, Virginia Ross, Michele Forney and Jennifer Robinson.

One Queen Creek resident filed to run for mayor and three for town council in the Aug. 28 primary election. All are presently on the council.

They are Mayor Barney, for mayor; and Councilwoman Wheatley, Councilwoman Dawn Oliphant and Vice Mayor Emilena Turley, for council.

Members of the Queen Creek Town Council are Mayor Barney, with a term expiring in January 2019; Vice Mayor Turley, with a term expiring in January 2019; Councilman Robin Benning, with a term expiring in January 2021; Councilman Jeff Brown, with a term expiring in January 2021; Councilman Jake Hoffman, with a term expiring in January 2021; Councilwoman Oliphant, with a term expiring in January 2019; and Councilwoman Wheatley, with a term expiring in January 2019.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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