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Carroll appointed to Green Valley justice court

Former longtime county supervisor Ray Carroll was appointed Tuesday to a justice of the peace position at Green Valley Justice Court, filling a vacant spot on the bench.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors, with a few predictable moments of drama, voted 4-1 to appoint Carroll.

Supervisor Ally Miller, like Carroll a Republican, voted against the appointment.

Miller, who for years clashed with Carroll on the board, said Tuesday that the new justice of the peace is "a carpetbagger, looking for payback" for his support of Democratic Supervisor Sharon Bronson.

Miller said she doesn't believe Carroll has the "experience, qualifications or the temperament" for the post, and implied that a woman who she said committed suicide had been harassed by Carroll when he video-recorded her speaking to the board.

All meetings of the Board of Supervisors are videoed, including call to the audience portions, and posted online by county staffers.

Supervisor Richard Elias, a Democrat, fired back at Miller: "I understand that Ally has political differences with Supervisor Carroll."

Carroll "served .. without a stain upon his record. He's been a faithful servant," Elias said. "The truth is he's represented Green Valley for more than 20 years, in good stead."

Carroll was nominated by his successor, Supervisor Steve Christy, a Republican who represents Green Valley.

“This is a golden opportunity to represent Green Valley,” Carroll said last month, in applying for the post.

Tuesday, he said that Miller's raising the issue of a suicide was "uncouth."

"That sort of cruel conjecture is the type of behavior I would expect from Supervisor Miller and her ilk," Carroll said.

Carroll said he believes he has had a "public service career that has ably equipped me to be a judge," dating to his college days when he worked as a victim advocate.

The appointment to an elected position will apparently allow Carroll to augment his pension. Because he was initially appointed to the county board in 1997, filling a seat left vacant when John Even died, he did not serve the entire 20-year stretch that would allow him to take the maximum pension from the state plan for elected officials.

Carroll, who retired in January after serving as a Pima County supervisor for nearly five terms, said he would run for the JP position in 2018.

The seat was vacant because Justice of the Peace Lisa Royal resigned in August to take the court administrator job with Pima County Consolidated Justice Court. She was appointed JP in 2013, and was elected to a four-year term the following year.

Justices of the peace determine probable cause to stand trial in felony preliminary hearings, handle misdemeanor criminal cases and civil traffic tickets, decide eviction matters in landlord-tenant cases, and hear civil lawsuits over matters valued up to $10,000.

Candidates for the appointment were required to live and be registered to vote in the court precinct and be registered to vote as Republicans, the same party as Royal. Carroll, who lived outside the precinct, rented a home in Green Valley, which he said he has always considered as a possible place to retire. He said he plans to sell his home in Tucson.

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Carroll said he would leave his job with the Amity Foundation, substance-abuse nonprofit, if he was appointed.

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Carroll announced that he wouldn't seek another term on the Board of Supervisors in February 2016.