Home » General » SFD Candidate Affirms Drug and DUI Arrests

SFD Candidate Affirms Drug and DUI Arrests

Village of Oak Creek  Photo by Bill Kusner

Village of Oak Creek Photo by Bill Kusner

Sedona AZ (March 29, 2012) – The Sedona Eye published a Letter to the Editor submitted by Rose Lowdon of Sedona, Arizona, on March 28, 2012. Lowdon, a Village of Oak Creek resident wrote that Sedona Fire District newly announced candidate, Justin Joel Paffrath, has undisclosed multiple convictions for criminal arrests.

Supporting internet sourced documentation arrived with the letter from Lowdon, including an extensive list of Paffrath addresses and phone numbers, his neighbors and family’s personal information, and a list of the arrest charges and the court disposition of the cases.

The Sedona Eye removed the charges and disposition from the Letter to the Editor at press time while providing readers with the ability to access the information giving its source, state, and court case log numbers. Paffrath was asked to affirm or deny the Lowdon information.

Justin Joel Paffrath, now of the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, Arizona affirmed the arrest and conviction information as correct in an email to the Sedona Eye, March 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM.

Sedona Fire District candidates Paffrath is asked to explain failure to disclose prior out of state arrests and convictions

Sedona Fire District candidate Paffrath responds to SedonaEye.com disclosure of prior out of state arrests and convictions

The Sedona Eye provides the Paffrath email in its entirety without edits and or comment: (begin email)

Thank you Rose Lowdon for beating me to the punch as my intention was/is to clear the air in my submission to the Red Rock News for Publication of my candidacy in the Re-Call election.

Ten years ago i was implicated in a crime due to a so called friend and a tenant. This misdemeanor was because of a green plant called cannabis. This plant is now legal for medical use in many states. I was discharged from “probation” early and well before that night i had a couple beers, went to bed, only to be woken up by a friend in need of a ride late at night. I was picked up for driving a few miles over the speed limit and it resulted in a failed breathalyzer and i pleaded guilty to a DUI. This was years ago. I am sorry for my dis-services to society BUT I DO NOT REGRET THE LIFE LESSONS these experiences have gained me.

The majority of Congress people we have working in our upper echelons of government have far more questionable backgrounds than myself.

I am an honest, caring and loving christian with concern over this re-call election. This election was set into motion by challengers claiming $120,000+ in attorney’s fees, a $200,000 “audit” showing millions in potential savings and a $40,000 new chief selection process; they are calling wasteful spending with an intent to build an un-needed station? This 8th station in a community less than 20,000 people would raise taxes for generations to come and create about $ Two Million in additional overhead each year.

I am also concerned with a previous SFD Chief who voluntarily resigned. Is now Chief for a neighboring district and wants to moonlight on the Sedona Fire District Board? This is alarming! Discussions to consolidate our Sedona Fire District with Neighboring Emergency Service providers have taken place and even been on the agenda for Board Meeting Minutes in a neighboring District! Sedona has a much higher average property value this would spell disaster for the Sedona Tax payer and we would defiantly get the short end of the stick if we allow this to happen. It would only take a vote of three people to consolidate our district.

These and many other issues are why i have decided to run for the Board.

At this stage in the game I KNOW that Phyllis Erick and Charles Christensen are the lesser of Two Evils compared to the conflict of interest with the Challengers.

Vote Wisely Sedona!
Justin Paffrath

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  1. Rose Lowdon says:

    Really? How terribly convenient for you, Mr. Paffrath. I have always found blaming anyone/someone/everyone else for anything/everything occurring in their existence to be of sad, yet somehow lurid interest. Particularly with regard to accepting (or failure to accept) responsibility for your own actions, your own failures, your own shortcomings or in this case, your complete inability to accept facts as they actually exist – and not as you might like them to be. A fascinating psychological study. An online lab rat, if you will. Most intriguing.

    So, you see yourself as an innocent landlord with a tenant – growing cannabis? Hmmmm… I don’t think so, Mr. Paffrath. Not with a sentence of ten-years probation . . But thanks for a good laugh on a Thursday evening… Even a lab technician needs some levity on occasion.

    And then there is your “speeding” to a friend in need of a ride in the middle of the night? Oh my goodness! You’re SO noble… Am I in the presence of a Saint? Be still, my beating heart….

    Oh puleeeease. Anyone who has parented teenagers can recognize the smell, not of weed, Sir, but of bovine excrement, the very second it is shoveled in our direction.

    Did you really think your juvenile explanations would pull the wool (or hemp, in this case) over anyone’s eyes? Wake up and smell the Starbuck’s Mr.Paffrath. You are SO far out of your league you can’t even hear the bat.

    You sir, are an attempted carpetbagger. (Look it up, Mr. Paffrath. The library has an excellent reference section.) And not a very successful one, at that. I seriously doubt your proper authority to legally VOTE in this District let alone your pathetic attempt to ascend a position in which you have no interest. Are you a homeowners, sir? Do you even pay property tax? NO on both counts.

    Grow up, Mr. Paffrath. Get a REAL job. Do not continue sliding along on the coattails of others – no matter who they might be. You’ll become a better man for it and you just might raise a decent family. But then… I always was an eternal optimist. Good luck to you, Sir. I suspect you’re going to need it.

  2. Henry says:

    ashamed to say that i thought phyllis might be worth voting for again & never! people need to hold her responsible for poor decision making

    when elected officials associate with known criminals & says they didn’t know they were criminals it only makes it worse – it means they are corruptible & stupid

  3. Tony says:

    When a candidate says he would prefer to serve with two individuals as the lesser of two evils does not mean they have endorsed HIM, or even personally know him for that matter.

    Those that criticize with such venom must never have made a mistake. I have found that for the most part those that have never made a mistake have also led such small lives that they have never actually done anything either.

    I am not excusing Mr Paffrath’s mistakes, but they do not appear to violate one of the 10 commandments, which is the highest standard. In some jurisdictions they would not be crimes. Also, I have rentals which I have not visited the interior in years, and in some jurisdictions I would be held responsible for my tenants actions. Some might think this reasonable, but I am not my tenants keeper.

  4. Bob, VOC says:

    Paffrath, you’re the typical gutless criminal that excuses his behavior by blaming others.

    You’re not due my or any others respect. It’s obvious that you fail the litmus test for trust and responsibility. God forbid that you are allowed to get near my wallet or other peoples. Never should you be allowed to get your hands on tax dollars to distribute.

    Withdraw your name now. You are a disgrace and not qualified to run. We have Christensen, Erick, and Blauert that loused things up royally but at least they haven’t been to jail.

    Someone needs to contact the Yavapai County Board of Elections and YCSO and see if you broke laws by not disclosing your criminal record and I’d bet my grandma’s bonnet that the RRN is saying prayers of gratefulness that Sedona Eye news blew this story wide open before RRN did its usual kiss up paper piece to the recall board members. Somebody at RRN owes Rose Lowden and Sedona Eye presents for doing the job RRN never does!!!!!

  5. Justin Paffrath says:

    I am running for this seat because I feel called to assist the tax payer to stop excess and frivolous spending.

    In 2002 we had a wonderful district with no concern about the level of service and a budget less than eight million.

    Beware that the initiators and the challengers in this Re-call election have major conflict of interest. One lives in the midway/chapel area. Another was a former chief who resigned voluntarily, now he is chief of a neighboring district and he wants to moonlight on our board!? This would spell disaster for the Sedona Fire District.

    Right Now we have a board that has cut costs and reduced spending with no detriment to the quality of our emergency service. The current board wants to stay within a dwindling budget. But some certain interests think we need to keep spending and want to dig their hands further into the tax payers pockets. That is why we have a Re-call. It is all about money. They want much more!$

    Havent you seen http://www.sedonafirefunnyfarm.com.

    The challengers have publicly stated they will build the chapel station. This is not feasible without raising the mil rate. Spending would exceed the highest budget we had a couple years ago going well over 15 million to as much as 17 million+. This would be an enormous dis-justice to the tax payer.

    Reduction in spending and increased efficiency on behalf of the district management and business plan is not synonymous with in-adequate emergency services! The union and the challenging candidates have employed scare tactics to earn votes out of manufactured fear.

    Again research www dot sedona fire funny farm dot com.

    I am not endorsed by Erick nor Christensen.

    As i stated earlier – “I am sorry for my dis-services to society BUT I DO NOT REGRET THE LIFE LESSONS these experiences have gained me.” If not for these tribulations in my life i would not have found a relationship with God our Creator. I am very thankful for my faith and blessings in my life.

    I HAVE NOT broken any laws by declaring my candidacy.

    Again – Far greater atrocities have been committed by those in our government. A very large number of members of congress have far more questionable backgrounds than myself! Bill Clinton Said he didn’t inhale…

    Today’s banking and monetary system – That is a crime.

    Pig Pharma – That is a crime.

    Monsanto – That is a crime.

    Like Tony said – “I am not excusing Mr Paffrath’s mistakes, but they do not appear to violate one of the 10 commandments, which is the highest standard. In some jurisdictions they would not be crimes.”

    Lets not forget about personnel of our illustrious fire district. We have a child molester, another guy shot a hand gun at another vehicle while driving down the highway, Also a wife who allowed a minor to drink with her at the bar and another lady allowing their children to play with sex toys let alone disseminate emails about this. Non of which are criticized by those on the “inside.”

    Everyone makes mistakes and life has been created in this way so we can learn, grow and be strengthened by these challenges. I have been accountable and paid my debt to society.

    There is no monetary compensation for serving on the fire board. I will do the right thing on behalf of the tax payer.

    I wish everyone of you all the best and speak blessings into your lives.

    Let them who have no sin cast the first stone.

    With most gratitude;
    Justin Paffrath

  6. m allen says:


    Stop your lies! You have made it abundantly clear you hate the fire department, but full disclosure is required. Your girlfriend was fired from SFD for gross misconduct and ongoing personnel matters. She and you have chosen to drag SFD through the mud in an effort extort more money from the current fire board who would use your anger to to make SFD look the villain. Make sure she knows how badly she burned that bridge.

    Your continued misinformation and twisted use of “facts” must stop. I take solace in the fact that when the new board is seated you will most likely be taken to court for violating the nondisclosure agreement SFD’s insurance company must have made her sign. A paltry settlement of $1000 just goes to show you how weak her case was.

    As far a Justin Paffrath is concerned he has publicly stated that he is running with Erick and Christensen despite his obvious distain for them. His weak performance at the forum last week showed how little he really knows about Sedona or its people. Having been in Sedona for less than a year it may be more prudent for him to sit back and learn something about his new community, other than what Lowell Johnson (his boss) has told him.

  7. Ann says:

    This is to Tony: The previous Chief did not “allow” residents to contact the fire district’s attorney. I know for a fact that Chairman David Blauert has instructed citizens to call the Board’s attorney with questions he could not answer. How do i know this? Because I know one of those citizens. Why don’t you go to the SFD offices and request the legal invoices and you can see what citizens called the attorney and then you can ask them… As for lies and deception, you and your little website and your girlfriend who was terminated for cause from SFD by the previous Chief would know about that. I would let Karma alone…

    To Justin Paffrath: You came to one Fire Board meeting, mumbled something incomprehensible during the public forum, and then left the meeting early. Oh, I am sure you are very knowledgeable about SFD operations and finances… Why don’t YOU got to the SFD offices and request accurate information instead of relying on information from people in this town who do not care one bit about public safety? All they care about is cutting taxes and if it is to the detriment of our safety – then, so be it!

    Check your facts, young man. You said at the Candidates Forum earlier this week that you “heard” our firefighters don’t shop at Bashas’ because it is not a “union shop”. Well, you heard wrong. That is a lie. I see them there a lot. You said we don’t need firefighters on duty at night because businesses are closed and no one is out hiking, etc. This is one of the more ludicrous things a quasi-politician has ever stated. Guess what? People have heart attacks at night, some businesses are open all night, people do hike at night in Sedona, there are car accidents, etc.

    I do not want to pay high taxes either – although we do not pay high taxes in Sedona – but, what I want are rational, intelligent, reasonable citizens on our Sedona Fire Board who make good decisions based on true fiscal responsibility and a real concern for the public they serve. In my estimation, that is not Christensen, Erick, Blauert, Dible – or for that matter, you.

  8. Tony says:

    To Ann and M Allen,

    She was wrongfully terminated, 4 male fire fighters missed the exact same class, no action was taken against them. She was terminated. When we brought this to Hazime’s attention, he said ” I’m just focusing on you.” Is that fair or good judgement? She filed a hostile work environment claim to Karen Danes, it was not acted upon as Karen said her boss Terry will be quitting soon. My guess is she was terminated because as I was writing the board, they fired the whistle blower. I was writing then as now because I hate my tax dollars being wasted. Plus she was fired on Terry , her boss, last day. What kind of person fires someone on their last day? Oh, yea, it was also the anniversary of the day Terry’s then husband robbed and killed one of his clients. We have complete documentation with recordings to substantiate all of the above. But as AZ is a right to work state, they can terminate at will.

    I’m tired of my taxes going up, not just for Sedona Fire but in all levels of government. I’m tired of one of the highest sales taxes in the country, 10.4% in Sedona. I’m tired of wasteful spending. The ladder truck for example. Or 5 people in accounting when the timekeeping is done by Telestaff and the payroll by ADP. Or perhaps one supervisor for every 2 employees in the 911 center.

    Because she worked for Sedona Fire I am aware of much of the waste that went on, both under Hazime and those before him. Sedona Fire employees are the highest paid in the area, period. Ok, but cut the unnecessary personnel. There are people in Sedona that can not afford higher taxes. I don’t happen to be one of them, but I can afford to let others know.

    I don’t hate the Fire Department. I hate my tax dollars being wasted. If you work for Sedona, you might think I hate you , I don’t. If you don’t actually do any work, you should fear for your job.

    Waste was wrong before they fired her. It’s still wrong now. The citizens of Sedona that are not on Sedona payroll are not here to be milked for taxes. Eventually other peoples money runs out. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    The current board has made some progress in reducing expenses. There is much more to be done. Even then, the current board will not touch the staff that actually saves lives and property. The current board is aware of much of the waste, yet they do not want to lay off a single employee.

    If you want higher taxes, vote for Hazime, Schoen and Cooperman.

    I hate lies. Karma is a wonderful thing.

  9. Ann says:

    Tony, I really don’t want to go back and forth with you… but, come on. Your girlfriend, Julianna, was not the complete innocent in being fired from SFD. I am willing to bet there is much more to the case than you have presented above. She had no problem with accepting her salary and benefits when she was working there. And how could she possibly know how hard the Admin staff works or even have an understanding of what they do? It is my understanding that she worked in another station. This whole situation comes across as being greed-fueled. After all, according to what I’ve been told, she only got $1000 settlement from the insurance company. That says something about the validity and strength of her case.

    Your taxes haven’t gone up from Sedona Fire in a number of years. They are going down and not because of this current Fire Board. Don’t you get it? They have REALLY wasted your precious tax dollars. And your Funny Farm website may contain some factual information, but it is so distorted, full of misinformation and lies and oozing with bitterness, that it is hard to understand what is true. It is really laughable that Mr. Paffrath chooses to use that as a “fact check”. Go to the source. SFD is a public agency required to give out information to the public.

    Seriously, Mr. Paffrath, you should stop replying to these comments. You come across more and more like a spoiled jerk baby. Once SFD finds out that one of its members has broken the law or violated policy, they are investigated and if confirmed, terminated. So, you can list all those individuals and point to them as being worse criminals than you, but they are not running for office. You, apparently, are.

    As a citizen in Sedona, I am really very tired of the hate-filled rhetoric and ugliness of local politics. All of you – on both sides – just behave!

  10. Tony says:

    Julianna’s case is settled, she was wrongfully terminated. She is not going to pursue any further action on that matter. It was mostly pursued to clear her name.

    Once again, do you think that makes me any happier about the waste at Sedona Fire? They can’t fire me as they did her..

    What I would love to hear from those that oppose the current board is some FACTS.

    ” I’m willing to bet.” Or ” We do not pay high taxes in Sedona.” “And how could she possibly know how hard the Admin staff works or even have an understanding of what they do” , the problem is, no one knows exactly what they do.

    Or the best one ” Stop your lies.” Without any evidence.

    The legal fees are high in part because Citizens are allowed to contact the Fire District lawyers. In part due to the Hazime resignation, In part due to the search for a new chief. In part to obtain legal advice on the cuts.

    If you can prove I have lied, cite evidence. You falsely accusing me of lying only makes me want to get the truth out more.

    Have a nice day!

  11. M Allen says:

    Did it occur to you or her that maybe she was fired for more that just missing a class? I know you have plenty of money and time to spend slandering sfd employees. I wonder if they had your money or spare time, would they waste it writing childish posts on small local websites? Probably not. Take the time to get well informed about current events and stop dewelling on stuff from the past. Taxes are down the economy is looking up. Relax. The weather is beautiful. Go for a long hike, a really long hike.

  12. VOC Resident says:

    Mr. Paffrath:

    My husband and I are fairly new to the VOC and as such were not up to speed with all of the political news related to the SFD recall election. A few weeks ago my husband signed your petition that was posted at the barber shop because he felt that everyone has the right to “toss their hat into the ring”.

    After reading about you on this web site, I can agree with some of the things that you say about making some bad choices in prior years of one’s life and learning from that. But, I’m not seeing that “learning from that” part anywhere.

    I’ve been trying to do my homework related to the SFD and have read many of the Board minutes to become educated with FACTS. I now see how poor the current Board is and why we need a change. I for one feel that a more educated and professional group of people are needed to spend or watch my tax dollars.

    While you have said on this site that you’ve learned from life’s lessons I wonder if that is truly the fact. Having been involved with drugs and paying the price, have you really learned from your missteps when you put the blame onto others? Some years later to be arrested for DWI and then put THAT blame on to others as well.

    But, all of that aside, if you have really learned by your past missteps, now some years later, when the community questions factual information about you, the person that may be spending our tax dollars, instead of taking the mature path, you retort with many unproven rants and then try to direct people to a one sided web site. Not a very mature or professional way that I would want my future fire board to carry themselves.

    Right now after the very poor management of the current board, I feel that we need an educated and mentally mature representative on the SFD board not someone such as yourself who flies off of the handle with unproven data and rants.

    I’m sorry but, after reading this site I feel that we will no longer be supporting your point of view nor give you our vote.

    Mrs. Rodger Thomas
    VOC Resident

  13. Paul, Sedona says:

    In 2002 where did you live? You didn’t live here. How old were you? Was that when you were in jail?

  14. Linda, uptown says:

    It is amazing to me to learn of this. A dishonest man.

  15. While looking for AZ news I came across this and wanted to say good to see true journalism alive and well in America. You and your readers broke this story without vitriol or sensationalism and how about that. Go to the head of the line for a journalism award. Why not tackle credibility issues of other AZ candidates and politicians? Your town cares about the quality of people it elects and that makes a great democracy. New fan Frank Bonnett, Atlanta

  16. Caly Gaither says:

    I am a small business owner with my husband and would hire and work with a thief before I would work with someone who does drugs, even recreationally. Things can be replaced people can’t . Anyone who does drugs these days if caught gets a slap on the hand and let go to do it again.

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