I was asked to do a short interview on Phoenix's NPR station KJZZ
yesterday, to provide a government ethics view on issues relating to the latest battle in
the uncivil war among elected officials in Maricopa County, the county
that includes Phoenix. My research into what is going on raised all
sorts of interesting issues. I'll deal with them in multiple blog posts.
First, what happened. County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested County
Supervisor (effectively council member) Don Stapley three days after a
county attorney moved to dismiss charges against Shapley for numerous
purgery counts relating to the filing of financial disclosure forms.
The new counts, according to an
in the Arizona Republic, involve primarily (i) campaigning
for officer positions in the National Association of Counties (NACo), a
membership organization, including misuse of office and personal use of
campaign contributions; and (ii) misrepresentations on a mortgage
document, campaign finance reports, and a tax return. The great
majority of the counts are felony counts.
One issue, which I had never thought of, is not part of the case, but
its facts led me to think of it. According to the counts, one NACo
campaign contribution was in the sum of $25,000, and fifteen others
ranged from $3,000 to $24,999.