Judicial Watch vs. Goldwater Institute: Conservative Think Tanks Clash Over Taxpayer-Funded Police Union Work

Categories: Who's Suing Who

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A legal battle over whether Phoenix police union leaders should be able to perform union-related duties while collecting their taxpayer-funded salaries has pitted two uber-conservative groups -- Goldwater Institute and Judicial Watch -- against each other.

At the crux of the debate is Goldwater's contention that a municipal government paying union bosses to conduct union duties, which includes lobbying, representing employees in disciplinary hearings and negotiating employment contracts, violates the Arizona Constitution's gift clause.

Not so, says Judicial Watch, a D.C.-based conservative think tank.

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Miriam Hayenga, Phoenix Developer, Suing Prominent Zoning Attorney Paul Gilbert Over What She Says Is Botched Legal Work

Categories: Who's Suing Who

See also: Miriam Hayenga Proves You Can Fight City Hall, After All
See also: Don't Even Think About Fighting City Hall Unless You're a Good Old Boy

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Miriam Hayenga celebrated her settlement with the City of Phoenix. Now, she's going after her former attorney.
A few years ago, we told you about Miriam Hayenga and her quest for justice over what she says was bungled legal work from prominent zoning attorney Paul Gilbert.

Sarah Fenske (former New Times columnist who is now the editor at our sister paper the L.A. Weekly) ended her 2009 column with the words 'Stay tuned...'

Nearly three years later, Hayenga, an unlikely developer, is pushing forward with a lawsuit against Gilbert, her former attorney. Depositions are under way in the case that has cost Hayenga millions of dollars -- both out of pocket and in lost potential profits -- and countless hours over nearly a decade.

Gilbert did not return our calls seeking comment.

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Tempe Police "Party Patrol" Brutalize ASU Golfer, Harass His Friends on Facebook, According to Lawsuit

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Party poopers.

​Next time you're partying at Arizona State University, consider Noah Frochtzwajg, ASU student and aspiring golfer.

He was enjoying the company of friends at 2 a.m. on Sunday August 29, 2010, when Tempe police came knocking at his apartment.

Frochtzwaig saw two officers and opened the door to let them in. They stormed the room with three more officers and knocked him to the ground.

From there, they handcuffed him, forced his friends to leave "one by one," and laughed at him, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court against the Tempe Police Department yesterday.

After 30 minutes, the police officers uncuffed Frochtzwaig and released him without pressing charges. Frochtzwaig addressed a complaint to Tempe PD's Internal Affairs office -- after which  the sergeant in charge of the investigation started harassing his friends on Facebook with "personal and embarrassing questions," according to the suit.

The complaint further alleges that Tempe PD employs a squad of police officers known as the "Party Patrol" whose job is to go around shutting down parties.

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Judicial Watch To Appeal Court Decision Allowing Mayor Gordon To Withhold Bodyguard's Records

Categories: Who's Suing Who
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Expect a few more legal rounds between Judicial Watch and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon
Judicial Watch is planning to appeal a November 4 decision by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea that allows Gordon to keep secret two years' worth of his security-detail logs.

Jim Peterson, an attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank, tells New Times that they are waiting for the judge to file a final judgment in the case, and then they will file their appeal.

Just what is Judicial Watch after?

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State Senator Russell Pearce's Lawsuit to Derail West Valley Casino Tossed By Courts

Categories: Who's Suing Who
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U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell has denied an attempt by Senator Russell Pearce to join a lawsuit filed by  Glendale and the Gila River Indian Community against the Department of the Interior.

Glendale and the Gila are suing the Interior Department because it approved in July an application by the Tohono O'odham Nation to place 54 acres near 95th and Northern avenues into trust. (Placing land into trust means that it becomes an Indian reservation.)

Since the Nation announced its plans to build a resort-style casino on that West Valley parcel, state and local leaders have been tripping over themselves to derail it.

Pearce wanted a piece of the action and filed his own lawsuit, complete with all the reasons why the courts should allow Pearce, a Mesa resident, to join the fray.

The federal judge decided that Pearce didn't have a real stake in the case.

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Russell Pearce Suing the Feds to Derail Tohono O'odham's Proposed Casino ... and Glendale's Picking up the Tab!

Categories: Who's Suing Who
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Senator Russell Pearce, best known for his immigrant-loathing views, is taking on the Tohono O'odham Nation, an Indian tribe that plans to open a resort-style casino in the West Valley.

Pearce and state Senate-hopeful Scott Bundgaard, now joined by about a dozen Arizona lawmakers, have filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior. They join the City of Glendale and the Gila River Indian Community in trying to derail the casino project.

We're sure Pearce has his usual moralistic reasons for trying to stop the casino. Just like with the Mormon legislator's bashing of Latinos, which is hurting Arizona economically, he cares nothing about any economic boon the casino could bring. 

More ridiculous than a Mesa senator and other lawmakers trying to inject themselves in this ongoing legal battle is that Glendale is paying the Rose Law Firm to handle the lawmakers' suit, according to one of the firm's attorney.

Picking up the tab for a Pearce & Co. lawsuit is unbelievable considering that taxpayers are already shelling out money to pay for Glendale's own lawsuit filed against the feds in September.

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Jason Shelton Sues Scottsdale Over 2008 Arrest at Speed-Camera Protest; Shelton Also Exonerated of Fraud Charge

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Shelton smiles for his mug shot after his bogus 2008 arrest at a speed-camera protest. He beat the rap and is suing Scottsdale in federal court

A man who was arrested by Scottsdale police while filming anti-speed-camera activists during a 2008 protest is suing the city in federal court.

Jason Shelton, who now lives in Bonner Springs, Kansas, alleges in a lawsuit filed yesterday that the police made a false arrest, infringed on his civil rights, inflicted intentional emotional distress and -- perhaps worst of all -- assaulted him.

Before we get into that, we noticed today on the Maricopa County Superior Court's Web site that a jury found Shelton not guilty last year of fraud charges related to the sale of a vehicle on Craig's list.

Scottsdale must have really hosed it on the fraud case. Records show that Shelton even handled it himself, acting as his own lawyer during the trial.

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Calvin Pace, New York Jets and Former AZ Cardinals Linebacker, Sued for $2.8 Million by Cardinals and NFL

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The Arizona Cardinals and NFL Management Council are demanding $2.8 million from lineback Calvin Pace.
​The Arizona Cardinals and NFL Management Council filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against former Cards player Calvin Pace, demanding he pay $2.8 million for lost time during the 2005 season.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S District Court in Arizona, states that Pace "severely injured his arm while wrestling with a friend" on October 15, 2005, a screw-up that put Pace on the bench for the rest of that season. The failure to report to work triggered his contract's forfeiture provision, the NFL and Cards allege.

The football league has been trying to get the money from Pace for a few years, judging by a 2005 ESPN article on the matter.

The Cards and NFL council filed a grievance against Pace for the cash in January of 2006, the lawsuit says. Four years later, an arbitration meeting took place in Tempe before court-appointed arbitrator Michael Beck, who issued a final ruling last month against Pace.


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Police Chief Jack Harris Won't Say Who Asked Him to Write Declaration in Support of Anti-1070 Lawsuit

Categories: Who's Suing Who


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​Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris won't tell Judicial Watch who asked him to write a letter in support of the feds' anti-1070 lawsuit.

And he won't tell you, either.

If you'll recall, Harris' declaration -- which ended up attached to the federal filing -- outlined several problems the double-dipping chief believed his officers would have in trying to enforce 1070.


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Randy Parraz, Anti-Arpaio Activist and U.S. Senate Candidate, Files Federal Lawsuit Over 2008 Arrest

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Randy Parraz has filed a federal lawsuit against Maricopa County and several deputies regarding his trumped-up arrest for protesting at a 2008 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

The pro-union, anti-Joe-Arpaio attorney-activist is currently running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat. If he manages to win over three other Democrats in the race (polls show the election as tight) he will face the Republican nominee, who in all likelihood will be incumbent John McCain.

Parraz filed a $500,000 claim a few weeks ago against the county. The federal lawsuit, filed on Thursday, seeks unspecified damages.

Parraz's county claim wasn't part of the nearly half-a-million in settlements doled out by the county last month to seven protesters. Parraz says he wasn't offered anything during that settlement negotiation.

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