Joe Arpaio Sicks AG's Office On Opponent Mike Stauffer; Candidate For Sheriff Says MCAO Won't Prosecute His Cases. Intimidation?

stauffernewpic.jpg
Is Joe Arpaio trying to scare off Mike Stauffer, his opponent in this year's election?
The Arizona Attorney General's Office currently is investigating Scottsdale Lieutenant Mike Stauffer at the directive of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office over last year's jailhouse death of Marty Atencio (the MCSO disputes it's an "investigation," but we got our hands on a recording of a voicemail a special agent from the AG's Office left for Stauffer, which you can hear below).

Stauffer, as you may know, is running against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in this year's election for sheriff -- and, as you also may know, Arpaio's got a bit of a history when it comes to trying to intimidate those who oppose him (the arrests of county supervisors Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox, not to mention the arrests of the owners of this publication, for example).

Additionally, Arpaio pal/Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's office recently told Stauffer that the County Attorney's Office would no longer prosecute cases he investigates as a member of the Scottsdale Police Department -- a claim the MCAO disputes.

Stauffer tells New Times that the County Attorney's Office told his superiors that something he posted on Facebook about the Fiesta Bowl scandal created a conflict of interest between him and Montgomery, and that cases he's involved with will have to be shipped out to other county attorneys.

More »

Is It "Reasonable" to Assume Andrew Thomas Will Never Hold Public Office Ever Again?

thomasmustache.jpg
Andrew Thomas' chances of returning to public office seem about as "reasonable" as that mustache.
Just in case you thought there was a snowball's chance in hell that shamed former County Attorney Andrew Thomas could ever hold public office ever again, enter his attorney, Don Wilson.

Wilson is representing Thomas in the disciplinary proceedings that potentially could conclude with the former CA's disbarment.

Regardless, in an interview with KJZZ on Tuesday, Wilson said Thomas deserves to hang on to his law license because he's no longer a threat to society because he no longer holds public office "and I think any reasonable person assumes he never will again."

No argument here.

However, this is Arizona -- where the word "reasonable" seldom exists in politics.

More »

Fiesta Bowl Fiasco: Did County Attorney Bill Montgomery Let Valley Politicos Off the Hook?

montydowntown.jpg
County Attorney Bill Montgomery won't charge any politicians with crimes in connection with the Fiesta Bowl scandal -- even if they probably deserve it.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced yesterday that no criminal charges will be filed against any of the more than two dozen state legislators who accepted questionable gifts from the scandal-plagued Fiesta Bowl organization while it was headed by former CEO John Junker.

The gist of Montgomery's explanation as to why no charges would be filed is as follows: what many of these politicians did was unethical -- and probably is against against the law -- but isn't necessarily illegal under Arizona's current vague statutes, which require prosecutors to prove that defendants "knowingly" violated the law, which would have made getting any convictions a struggle.

See our post on Montgomery's (lengthy) announcement here.

We've spoken to several people who think Monty's letting his political pals off the hook -- as Junker gets thrown under the bus.

However, as the county attorney was sure to point out, those investigated were both Republicans and Democrats, and his prosecutors didn't take party affiliation into account when investigating the alleged crimes.

More »

Fiesta Bowl Scandal: Valley Politicos Won't Face Charges; County Attorney Says Arizona Law "Doesn't Meet Public's Expectations"

fiestabowllogo.jpg
No politicians will be charged with crimes for accepting gifts from the scandal-plagued Fiesta Bowl organization under the leadership of former CEO John Junker -- but that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't do anything wrong (just look at ousted former state Senate President Russell Pearce, who accepted nearly $40,000 in gifts from the organization. More on him below).

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery held a lengthy press conference this morning to explain his office's findings in its probe of several state lawmakers and gifts they received from the organization. According to Montgomery, prosecutors were unable to "find evidence leading to criminal liability for those investigated."

There may not have been enough evidence for Montgomery to charge anyone with a crime, but he says the probe identified "areas where Arizona law does not meet legitimate public expectations for transparency."

In other words, what many of these politicians did was unethical -- and probably is against against the law -- but isn't necessarily illegal under Arizona's current vague statutes, which require prosecutors to prove that defendants "knowingly" violated the law.

More »

Fiesta Bowl Fiasco: County Attorney Bill Montgomery to Announce Findings of Investigation Into Elected Officials

fiestabowllogo.jpg
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is holding a press conference this morning to announce the findings of an eight-month investigation into elected officials who received gifts from the allegedly corrupt Fiesta Bowl organization.

It's unclear what Montgomery will announce -- the Arizona Republic reports he'll propose a plan to ban lawmakers from accepting gifts.

Regardless, here's what we know about former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker's allegedly using the organization's coffers as his personal ATM machine:

More »

Fiesta Bowl Fiasco: Former COO Natalie Wisneski Pleads Not Guilty

fiestabowllogo.jpg
Natalie Wisneski, the former chief operating officer for the Fiesta Bowl, was in a Phoenix U.S. District Court this morning where she pleaded not guilty to multiple charges that she was involved in a scam to make illegal campaign contributions to several federal, state, and local political candidates.

Wisneski is the first Fiesta Bowl official charged with any crimes stemming from the alleged scam.

Wisneski was hit with a nine count indictment about two weeks ago charging that she solicited campaign contributions from Fiesta Bowl employees and reimbursed them with cash from the organization -- which is a bit (completely) on the illegal side.

Wisneski's also accused of filing false tax returns on behalf of the Fiesta Bowl when she denied that the organization had any lobbying or political expenditures.

More »

Fiesta Bowl Scandal: Former COO Natalie Wisneski Indicted

fiestabowllogo.jpg
Natalie Wisneski, the former chief operating officer for the Fiesta Bowl, has been indicted in federal court on charges that she tried to cover up illegal campaign contributions by bowl employees, and that she filed false financial records, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today.

Wisneski is the first person to be indicted since news of the Fiesta Bowl scandal broke in March.

According to the nine-count indictment, Wisneski solicited campaign contributions from Fiesta Bowl employees for various federal, state, and local political candidates. She then reimbursed the employees with Fiesta Bowl money.

Wisneski's also accused of filing false tax returns on behalf of the Fiesta Bowl when she denied that the organization had any lobbying or political expenditures.

More »

Border Patrol Agent Charged With Accepting Bribe to Allow Contraband-Filled Truck to Pass Through Checkpoint

borderagentwarning.jpg
www.funnyshirtshack.com
For the second time this month, a federal agent in Arizona has been charged with a corruption-based crime.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced today that U.S. Border Patrol agent Abel Canales has been indicted for accepting a bribe to allow a U-Haul truck he thought was filled with either drugs or illegal immigrants to pass through a southern Arizona border checkpoint.

Canales, authorities say, allowed the U-Haul to pass through the I-19 Border Patrol checkpoint yesterday. After the truck made safe passage into the U.S., Canales was seen making contact with a co-conspirator, who handed him an envelope full of cash.

More »

Weed-Smuggling Ice Agent Jason Lowery Held Without Bail

lowery-thumb-200x169.jpg
Jason Lowery
Jason Alistair Lowery, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer who was busted in a marijuana smuggling sting last week -- and then led authorities on a high-speed chase through the desert while throwing bundles of weed out of his ICE-owned vehicle -- is to be held without bail, a federal magistrate ruled today.

Federal magistrate Edward Voss made the ruling this morning, after determining that Lowery is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook explained the sting to New Times last week. He says DPS had been monitoring Lowery for several weeks after a known smuggler tipped off authorities that he was working with a law enforcement official.

More »

Winner of Best Reader Caption For Photo of Shamed Former County Attorney Andy Thomas and Hench-Woman Rachel Alexander: Vic

thomasalexander.jpg
Rachel Alexander's Facebook page.
"You said I'd be assistant U.S. Attorney General but all I got to show for all this is this shitty McCain badge!"
Congratulations to the New Times reader who goes by the handle Vic, you are the proud winner of this week's New Times You Write the Caption contest.

On Friday, we asked readers to provide what they think would be an appropriate caption for the above photo of shamed former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and one of his henchwomen Rachel Alexander.

We picked the five best reader captions and put it to a vote.

See all the entries here.

Vic stole the show with the following:

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...