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Legislative candidate has 4-letter words for county

August 19, 2018

District 5 state legislative candidate Jennifer Jones-Esposito is in a war of words with Mohave County. Jones-Esposito has been fighting with the county over what she believes is unfair prosecution for an alleged animal ordinance infraction.

The battle has become so heated that last month Jones-Esposito dropped several “F bombs” on the Mohave County attorney’s office message machine.

The incident that triggered the fight occurred when Jones-Esposito was confronted months ago by Mohave County animal control on a piece of property she owns in Golden Valley.

Jones-Esposito, who is running for one of the two state representative seats representing Mohave County, said an anonymous person had notified animal control and that the act was politically motivated.

“I told the (officer) to write me a ticket for anything you like and I will see you in court,” Jones-Esposito said. “The officer told me she heard dogs barking … and wrote me a ticket. Now I have legal standing to challenge an unconstitutional county ordinance.”

Jones-Esposito was cited with two misdemeanor counts of not having a dog license.

“She gave me the ticket for dogs she thought she heard but never saw,” Jones-Esposito said. “She never got out of her car and I didn’t let her.”

Jones-Esposito had requested the county conduct an internal affairs investigation over what she sees as an example of criminal trespass by the animal control officer.

“I was told the county was not going to do that,” she said. “I was told county ordinance allows them to trespass anytime they want and that they were going to stand by the ordinance and the officer’s actions.”

Jones-Esposito says she received a plea bargain offer in the mail from the county attorney’s office. That’s when she called Smith’s office to offer some choice words. She left a message on Smith’s voicemail on July 2.

“My official response to the offer is please go ‘F’ yourself,” she said. “The county has tried to ‘F’ me under title 11-410 using county resources to influence the outcome of an election.”

Jones-Esposito said the fight is much bigger than her two misdemeanor charges, saying she wants to protect the rights of homeowners in Mohave County by fighting against an ordinance that allows illegal trespass.

“I don’t think there are any words strong enough to convey my sentiments on how offensive it was for them to offer a plea bargain to someone who pled not guilty,” Jones-Esposito said. “I have no regrets because I’m taking a hardline for the property owners of Mohave County. This isn’t about me.”

According to Jones-Esposito, there is a longstanding pattern of criminal trespass by county animal control and that the practice stops with her.

Jones-Esposito is looking forward to Sept. 24 and her day in Kingman Justice Court although she said she is willing to take this case all the way up to the Arizona Supreme Court.

The Mohave County attorney did not respond to inquiries.

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