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Three board members resign within a week at Mescal J6 Fire District

'I had been dealing with a social media blitz of false information calling me out for things I had not done.'
Mescal J6 board
Posted at 8:05 AM, Jul 02, 2024

MESCAL, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Mescal J6 Fire District is no stranger to walk out after walk out by board members and members of the audience attending their meetings.

At a May 8 meeting, Mescal J6 Fire District’s Chief John Moran resigned because he said he was micromanaged. He finished up his work on June 21.

That same day, board members Phyllis Ellis and JoAnne Ellsworth resigned. Five days later, Bob Murray also resigned. Now there are only two board members left, which isn’t enough to vote on important decisions.

On Tuesday, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors is having a meeting to either appoint an administrator who would run the entire district or board members that would take over.

“I had been dealing with a social media blitz of false information calling me out for things I had not done,” former board chair Phyllis Ellis said about her resignation.

Ellis said a concerned citizens group harassed her online, which made meetings chaotic. She said she couldn’t get anything accomplished at the meetings. That group was accusing her of breaking open meeting law rules.

“I checked with the district attorney on everything we were doing and he had assured me that we were not breaking any rules,” she said.

In her letter of resignation, Ellis said she was the victim of false accusations and that her employer had even been contacted.

“They accused me of meeting with people outside of the board meetings to try and make deals with them which I had not done,” she explained.

Board member Bob Murray also resigned last week because there were also accusations made on social media about him still having ties to a community advocacy group. At one point he was a part of it, but severed ties before joining the board.

Murray said on Tuesday he’s going to encourage the Board of Supervisors to appoint an administrator instead of board members.

Cochise County Supervisor Peggy Judd said she would prefer to elect board members because appointing an administrator could take weeks.

KGUN 9 News reporter Andrew Christiansen reached out to the two remaining board members for an interview but has not heard back.

Both Murray and Ellis said they’re worried about people who could be appointed to the board.

“They are the people who have caused so much problems,” Ellis said. “We have a great crew. They just need their board and a new chief to lead the way.”

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Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing andrew.christiansen@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.

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