Thursday, May 24, 2012

AZ's electeds holding their collective breath

The USDOJ filed a motion in their case against Rep. Ben Arredondo, one Arredondo agreed with, to keep records of the investigation secret in order to protect some ongoing investigations.

From the Arizona Capitol Times, written by Gary Grado -

...A motion filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court by DOJ attorney Monique Abrishami asks Judge Fredrick Martone to issue a protective order for “all discovery materials provided in this matter.”

“If this information were to be disclosed, such disclosure might impede those investigations which are ongoing and/or impair the privacy rights of third parties whose conduct is or was at one time under investigation,” Abrishami wrote.

The motion sort of confirms what I've heard - that the feds aren't done with AZ's electeds, not by a long shot.  One person I spoke with, a Capitol insider, thought more indictments were possible, and if they happen, they may reach beyond the legislative level of government.

Given that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is under investigation, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is under investigation, and a number of legislators and lobbyists were named in the report on the Fiesta Bowl scandal (while they almost certainly won't be indicted for any activities documented in the report, the behavior documented therein is the kind that continues until the voters or the courts put a stop to it), those expectations shouldn't be surprising.

And those are just the investigations/allegations that have gained public notice.

The saying "where there's smoke, there's fire" takes on a special meaning in Arizona, especially in the summer.  Most summers, that saying just warns people to be on the lookout for forest fires.

This summer, however, it serves as a warning to keep an eye out on people and situations who have some metaphorical smoke swirling around them.

Will the next USDOJ moves be in the area of the mess in Quartzsite?  Will they step into Colorado City and do the things that need to be done but that are blocked by some suspiciously intransigent Arizona legislators?  Will they finally catch up to a certain somebody who is known for skating on the fine line between behavior that is unethical but legal and behavior that is simply unethical?

My guess is that a number of AZ's electeds, from town/city councils on up, are praying that the bright spotlight of a federal investigation isn't turned their way.  For possible clues as to who might be next on the feds' hit parade, watch the turning in of nominating petitions next week for any "big names" (i.e. - somebody like Russell Pearce, who has had smoke swirling around him for years) who surprise by *not* submitting petitions.

Arizona Republic coverage is here.  It isn't good as Grado's as it is mostly a rehash of the indictment with little insight into the current motion before the court, but there is no telling when the Cap Times will put their story behind a subscriber firewall.

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