Carman, Jolley, Padilla square off in election for Prescott Justice of the Peace
All 3 candidates are Prescott-area attorneys with different backgrounds
The head of the Prescott Consolidated Justice/City Court is the justice of the peace/city magistrate, which makes judgments or decisions about violations of state law and Yavapai County code in the county’s Prescott Precinct.
Prescott Municipal Court, 120 S. Cortez St., also adjudicates violations of Prescott City code within city limits.
Judge Glenn A. Savona serves as Prescott’s justice of the peace/city magistrate, and he is retiring. The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors appointed the Republican to the bench in 2017 and he was elected to a four-year term in 2018.
The 2022 Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 2, for which mail-in ballots were mailed out July 6.
The partisan-contested election has three Republican candidates – Prescott-based attorneys André Carman, Andy Jolley and Mitch Padilla.
What follows are answers to a questionnaire submitted by the candidates, who are listed in alphabetical order:
• André Carman
Occupation/Relevant Experience: “I am a lawyer in private practice since 2003. I own Carman Law Firm. I have served as an arbitrator, mediator and Justice Court hearing officer. It is my personal mission to help people and solve problems as a son, husband, father, lawyer and coach.”
Education: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University; Juris doctorate from Arizona State University; Master’s in Tax Law from University of Washington.
How long have you lived in Prescott? Since 2004.
What made you decide to run and what strengths can you bring to the office? “My drive to serve, my passion for the law, and the community I live in. I want to put into practice the command to ‘Love your neighbor.’
“I am Committed, Consistent, Collaborative, and Caring. I will be committed to the position and will serve the community for as long as the voters elect and retain me. As the Justice of the Peace, I will collaborate with law enforcement, the presiding judges of the Justice and Superior courts, and community stakeholders to ensure that the Justice Court operates as efficiently and consistently as possible. Finally, I will bring a caring presence to all participants in the system, listening to their concerns while effectively applying the law.”
What are your Top 3 goals, if elected, and what is your top priority for the court? “My top goal is to improve the collaboration with other local courts, law enforcement and community stakeholders. This will increase the Justice Court’s financial and operational efficiency.
“Another goal is to work with law enforcement, probation, and the prosecutors to implement veterans, mental health, and substance-abuse diversion and probation programs at the Justice Court, as well as ordering appropriate release conditions to ensure the safety of our community. Finally, I will be consistent in my demeanor and impartial in my application of the law.”
Is there anything the public should know about your background? “I am married with five children, one of whom we adopted out of the foster care system. As licensed foster parents, we fostered four children over four years. I am a conservative Republican.
“I have been an attorney in private practice since 2003. Because my focus is to help people and solve problems, my practice has been extremely diverse, including criminal, family, civil, business, and tax law. I have also served as an arbitrator and Justice Court mediator and hearing officer. A significant portion of my practice is devoted to pro bono work for the less fortunate in our community. As a result, I am the candidate with the longest and most varied legal experience. Apart from my legal experience, I have served the community as a board member of local charitable and civic organizations, and continue to serve as a church volunteer and high school basketball coach.”
NOTE: The State Bar of Arizona reports that attorney Carman was reprimanded by a disciplinary judge in September 2020, and placed on probation for one year, through Sept. 28, 2021, for conflicts of interest he had in an estate administration and litigation case.
• Andy Jolley
Occupation/Relevant Experience: “I have practiced law in Prescott since 2007. Currently I work at the Prescott Law Group, a small firm in town. I have contracts with Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Tusayan and the Havasupai Tribe to handle all of their prosecution. I have served as a prosecutor since 2010. Prescott Justice Court is where I started my career and I have a lot of experience and understanding of that court. I believe my experience as a prosecutor and in the Prescott Justice Court is what sets me apart.”
Education: Bachelor’s in Political Science from University of Utah; Juris doctorate from University of Idaho College of Law.
How long have you lived in Prescott? “My wife and I moved here in 2007 to start our family and careers. My wife is a school teacher at Abia Judd [Elementary School], and all three of my kids were born here in Prescott.”
What made you decide to run and what strengths can you bring to the office? “I have appeared in Prescott Justice Court more than any other court. I currently volunteer my time to serve as a Civil Traffic Hearing officer for Judge Savona, who is retiring. When he announced his retirement, I felt that it was the right time to run. I believe my experience as a prosecutor and my knowledge and understanding of the Prescott Justice Court is the strength I bring. I have conducted many jury and bench trials, not only in the Prescott Justice Court, but I have also appeared in Justice Courts in eight Arizona counties.”
What are your Top 3 goals, if elected, and what is your top priority for your constituents? “I believe the biggest issue facing the Prescott area is recidivism. We see it in the increase in the homeless population. As a prosecutor, my philosophy is: See me once, I am generally friendly; see me twice, I am getting stern; see me a third time, we need to do something different.
“I have maintained my tough stance on crime throughout my career. I would like to work with the mental health providers in the area to try and take advantage of the resources available to get people help early.
“Additionally, I believe we need to expand Veterans Court. I have appeared in Coconino County, and I believe the way they do it is something we could work on to give our Vets an avenue to get cases resolved. I believe they have served their country, and we need to serve them better.
“Third would be to keep the court open and smoothly running for all citizens. I believe in access to the courts and using technology and other resources to make sure the citizens of Yavapai County know what the court does, and how it works for them.”
Is there anything the public should know about your background? “Experience matters. Experience is not only good things but bad as well. I have a lot of experience in the legal community. I also have a lot of experience in the general community. I am very involved with youth sports. I have served on many boards, including the YavGOP, Little League, County Bar Association, and others.
“I have made mistakes along the way, but I believe I have learned from them and I am the person I am today because of all of the twists and turns and ups and downs. The experiences I have gone through have made me a better attorney, father, husband, person, and I believe a better judge. It is my collection of life experiences that makes me the best candidate, and why I truly believe, experience matters.”
NOTE: The State Bar of Arizona reports that a disciplinary judge suspended attorney Jolley’s law license for six months in Jan. 21, 2019, for withholding material information from the court in a family-trust fraud case.
• Mitch Padilla
Occupation/Relevant Experience: “I am a private attorney; my practice consists primarily of criminal defense. I have been licensed to practice law since 2000 in New Mexico and since 2005 in Arizona. I have been in private practice for the past four years.
“Prior to that, I managed attorneys and legal staff for 12 years while with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, I managed business organizations for 25 years while with AT&T, and I retired as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy after 22 years (active and reserve).”
Padilla added that he has also served on the board of Yavapai College, currently for two-plus years; at Tri-City College Prep High School for five years; on Yavapai Regional Transit Board for two years; as Tri-City College Prep High School Mock Trial Coach for 10 years; and as Yavapai GOP Chairman of the Bylaws Committee for two years.
Education: Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Chapman University in Orange, California; Master’s in Business Administration from University of San Diego; Juris doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
How long have you lived in Prescott? Since 2008.
What made you decide to run and what strengths can you bring to the office? “I am running for the Justice of the Peace (JP) position because I have a passion for community service. The JP is a community position that serves the geographic areas of Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Paulden and other outlying communities. The office handles everyday matters that arise out of the community; criminal misdemeanor and civil citations, small claims, orders of protection, and detainer actions just to name a few. I believe that I will make a difference as your Justice of the Peace. I will bring a consistent and balanced approach to the position; one that utilizes common sense, experience and expertise in working with people.”
What are your Top 3 goals, if elected, and what is your top priority for your constituents? “My Top 3 Goals as your Justice of the Peace are:
• Establish a Veterans Court at the misdemeanor level. A Veterans Court provides an opportunity to veterans to make the proper adjustments in their lives to avoid running afoul of the law again. Veterans who suffer from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, and anger management, to name a few, may qualify for this program – but it will be up to the veteran to voluntarily participate in court-ordered services. If successful, the veteran may have their criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
• Provide consistency in my rulings from the bench. Previous justices of the peace have done a fine job in this area. I will hold the same commitment to the law while understanding that individuals who appear before me are looking for fairness and compassion in how they are treated by the court.
• Strengthen the team of employees at the Justice of the Peace office. There are many dedicated employees of the court who do an excellent job with not only their administrative skills but also with their customer-service skills. I will work to let our court staff know that they are appreciated by not only me but by our community for the excellent work that they do.”
Is there anything the public should know about your background? “Yes, I believe that all of us are role models to others. As your Justice of the Peace, it should be expected that I will act professionally and ethically at all times. I understand what that statement means as I try to live my life that way every day, both personally and professionally. I am proud to say that I have never been disciplined by the Arizona State Bar Association or any other agency of any kind. I know where the line of ethical behavior lies – and that is a line that I do not cross. Thank you.”
Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.
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