Rick Renzi Found Guilty of Corruption Charges

Convicted felon/former Congressman Rick Renzi.
Former Republican Congressman Rick Renzi was found guilty yesterday of 17 felony charges in his corruption trial.

Renzi's pal James Sandlin was also found guilty of 13 felony charges, in a corrupt land-swap deal, in which Renzi essentially used his position as a congressman to turn a profit.

See also:
-Congressman Rick Renzi and the Very Strange Coincidence

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Judge in Ben Arredondo Case: Maybe FBI Should've Gone After Wall Street Instead

U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone
It looks like U.S. District Judge Frederick Martone had some reasons for sparing former state Representative Ben Arredondo from prison on his felony mail-fraud convictions.

For one, Martone wouldn't really peg Arredondo as the kind of guy who would use the entrails of hookers as decorations.

See also:
-Ben Arredondo Gets a Grand Total of Zero Days in Prison in Corruption Case
-Harry Mitchell Sticks Up for Ben Arredondo, Looks at the Bright Side of Corruption
-Ben Arredondo Pleads Guilty; Plea Reveals He Also Ran a Bit of a Scholarship Scam

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Ben Arredondo Gets a Grand Total of Zero Days in Prison in Corruption Case

Ben Arredondo
After all that, a federal judge sentenced former state Representative Ben Arredondo yesterday to zero days in jail.

This, less than a year after being charged with bribery, extortion, and lying to FBI agents in a ticket-bribery exchange, then eventually pleading guilty to a mail-fraud charges, related to running a scholarship scam.

See also:
-Harry Mitchell Sticks Up for Ben Arredondo, Looks at the Bright Side of Corruption
-Ben Arredondo Pleads Guilty; Plea Reveals He Also Ran a Bit of a Scholarship Scam
-Ben Arredondo, State Representative/Ex-Tempe Councilman, Hit With Federal Charges

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Harry Mitchell Sticks Up for Ben Arredondo, Looks at the Bright Side of Corruption

Harry Mitchell
Former Democratic Congressman and Tempe Mayor Harry Mitchell has taken an interesting route in supporting ex-state Representative and recently admitted felon Ben Arredondo.

While prosecutors are looking to lock up Arredondo for as much as three years on a pair of mail fraud charges, Mitchell was one of a couple dozen people who submitted letters on Arredondo's behalf, as Arredondo's looking for a more lenient sentence, and Mitchell took the Abraham Lincoln route.

See also:
-Ben Arredondo Pleads Guilty; Plea Reveals Soon-to-Be-Former Legislator Also Ran a Bit of a Scholarship Scam
-Ben Arredondo, State Representative/Ex-Tempe Councilman, Hit With Federal Charges

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Don Kenney, Former AzScam "Quarterback," Charged With Five Felonies Over Fraudulent Real-Estate License

kenney don linkedin.JPG
Image: LinkedIn
Don Kenney advertises himself as a realtor with Coldwell Banker in North San Diego on his LinkedIn site. He's now been stripped of his fraudulent license and faces five felony charges.

Don Kenney, a former Arizona lawmaker and the "quarterback" of one of the state's worst scandals, has been charged with five felonies related to his fraudulent California real estate license.

In the infamous AzScam case, Kenney was among several lawmakers in 1990 who sold their votes to a man they believed represented the mafia. After taking a $55,000 bribe, Kenney was later convicted in 1991. He served 14 months in prison.

A few years later, authorities say, Kenney stole his son's identity and became a realtor in the Carlsbad area.

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Don Kenney, Former "Quarterback" of AzScam, Stole Son's ID in 1998 to Work as Real Estate Broker in San Diego

kenney don linkedin.JPG
Image: Linkedin
Don Kenney, former Arizona lawmaker, and now, former San Diego real estate broker.

Don Kenney, the former "quarterback" of one of Arizona's most notorious scandals, AzScam, stole his son's personal info in 1998 to work as a real-estate broker in San Diego.

This month, following a brief expose by former Arizona Republic reporter Lily Leung, Kenney's son agreed to surrender the real-estate license that had been fraudulently issued in his name. Donald John-Mark Kenney, who's gone by "John Kenney" his whole life and works as a Washington attorney, had nothing to do with the scam. It was just his dad up to his old tricks.

Donald James Kenney, 73, the former Republican legislator from Arizona who once famously took a bribe of $55,000 from a man he thought was connected to the mafia, had worked in the San Diego area as a broker until Leung's article caught the attention of California investigators.

Kenney served 14 months in prison after being found guilty of taking bribes in 1991.

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David Schapira Quick to Tell Ben Arredondo to Get Lost

Who knew we'd have to post that video for two different Arizona House members this year?

It didn't take long after the news broke that Republican-turned-Democratic state Representative Ben Arredondo was indicted on federal charges including bribery, fraud, and attempted extortion for Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira to tell him to take a hike.

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Ben Arredondo, State Representative/Ex-Tempe Councilman, Hit With Federal Charges

Ben Arredondo
State Representative Ben Arredondo was charged by a grand jury today with bribery, fraud, attempted extortion and false statements -- all for a few thousand dollars worth of tickets to ballgames and charity events.

According to the indictment, Arredondo -- a Republican-turned-Democrat who served on the Tempe City Council for 16 years before making it into the state House of Representatives in 2010 -- was getting the tickets from a company in exchange for helping it buy city-owned land for a real estate development.

The problem for Arredondo was that the "company" was run by undercover FBI agents.

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Andrew Thomas Complaining About His Disbarment in You Write the Caption

Stephen Lemons
Your caption here.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas held a press conference on Wednesday to complain about the decision by an Arizona Supreme Court disciplinary panel to strip him of his license to practice law.

The Feathered Bastard Stephen Lemons was there, as Thomas compared himself to Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and acted as if he had no idea why the panel decided Thomas and his comrades were attempting prosecutions in the name of politics.

With Thomas' grumpy face on, there's no better picture to use this week for another edition of the New Times You Write the Caption contest.

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Is Joe Arpaio Trying to Intimidate Opponent Mike Stauffer?

New Times
This is Joe Arpaio's "grrrr" face (it's also the face he makes when you ask him about Mexican drug cartels infiltrating his office -- which is exactly what we asked him before snapping this photo).
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office admitted yesterday that it asked the Arizona Attorney General's Office to "contact" Scottsdale Lieutenant Mike Stauffer -- Sheriff Joe Arpaio's opponent in this year's election -- and ask him about "inside information" he received about the December death of Marty Atencio in one of Arpaio's jails.

The Sheriff's Office refuses to say it asked the AG's Office to "investigate" Stauffer, just "contact" him.

However, we got our hands on a voicemail the AG's Office left for Stauffer. In it, you can hear a "special agent" from the AG's office say it's an investigation...then that it's not an investigation...and then dance around the word "investigation."

You can listen to the voicemail here.

Additionally, Stauffer told us yesterday that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office contacted his higher-ups to tell them the agency would not longer prosecute cases he was involved with as a member of the Scottsdale Police Department -- a claim the County Attorney's Office says is "absolutely false."

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