Marshall Joe Patterson informs the Patagonia Town Council Meeting that he plans to resign effective August 1, 2021. Photo by Robert Gay

Town Marshall Joe Patterson announced his plans to resign at the Patagonia Town Council meeting on March 24.

“I will be working on my exit from the Patagonia Marshall’s office,” he told the council members. 

Patterson is resigning, after serving as Marshall since 2011, because he is tired of being “harassed,” he said in a recent interview. “There’s been one person who has filed complaints every year. At a certain point I realized I had had enough.” 

Patterson had been involved in a lawsuit directed at the Town by April Rivera over a 2014 incident when he arrested Rivera. A judge ultimately determined that there had been probable cause for Rivera’s arrest and that the malicious prosecution complaint by Rivera was unfounded. 

In 2019, Patterson gained notoriety when a video shot by a local twelve-year-old showed him threatening the child with juvenile detention.

“It affected my life and my wife’s life a whole lot,” Patterson said.

After the incident went viral on the web, Patterson said that he received threatening phone calls. “Every February it comes up again.” 

On March 17, 2021, Patterson met with Town Manager Ron Robinson about a complaint that the Town had recently received, part of “a series of ongoing complaints,” according to Patterson.

“I’m tired of dealing with the same complaint over and over. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said, and led to him announcing his resignation.

“I’ve said from the beginning that there will be a time when Patagonia isn’t going to want me to be the Marshall,” Patterson said. He is planning to stay on until August 1, 2021 and is working on putting together a transition plan. “I have told Ron [Robinson] that I will make sure it is seamless. I am working on the pass-on book so that the new Marshall will be able to take command.”

After he leaves the Marshall’s office, Patterson plans to work for the AZ Dept. of Corrections. At present, while continuing his duties as Town Marshall, he is working at the AZ State Prison in Tucson. He announced at the Town Council meeting that he has submitted the application for the permit for Patagonia’s 4th of July celebration and is working to wrap up some ongoing investigations.

“I am truly saddened to hear the news of Joe’s resignation. He has been an asset to our community,” said Denise Bowdon of Patagonia. “Joe has done so much over the years. He has organized bike and safety rodeos for the kids, the Red Sleigh Toy Run at Christmas, visited our community members when they have been hospitalized…Many people, including myself and my family,  will dearly miss Joe.”

“Joe overall has done a good job. Any time you see an employee invest ten years in a job, it’s tough to see them go,” Robinson said in an interview. “I appreciate Joe and I respect him. My desire in our town is that we respect one another, no matter what we believe. In any engagement we should respect each other’s opinion.”