City of Somerton

Victor Calderón/KAWC

The City of Somerton held its annual 4th of July Celebration on Thursday evening. The night featured live music, a watermelon eating contest, food and, of course, fireworks.

UPDATE JUNE 5: Saying they had no choice but to meet their operations budget, Somerton city councilmembers voted Tuesday night to increase water and wastewater rates for residents.

An independent investigation found that the former Somerton police chief brought discredit to the department by allowing the use of city police cars for off-duty travel to the Phoenix area, city officials announced.

City of Somerton

UPDATE MARCH 28: Joseph Turitto has resigned his post as Somerton police chief.

The Yuma Sun reports Turitto stepped down Thursday and his resignation is effective immediately.

Somerton City Manager Ian McGaughey said Turitto cited personal reasons for his resignation.

Somerton police Lt. Araceli Juarez will serve as acting chief while a search begins for a new chief as soon as Monday.

Turitto’s resignation comes as state transportation officials investigate anonymous allegations that Somerton police officers used department vehicles to drive to the Phoenix area where they had side jobs as security guards at various events.

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Somerton's interim Police Chief Joseph Turitto has earned the job on a permanent basis.

Victor Calderón

Gerardo "Jerry" Anaya is in his first full week as the new mayor of Somerton. He was sworn in Nov. 20 along with two returning council members and one new councilman.

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