By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
When Scott Bundgaard was 18, he was convicted of a felony in connection with stolen goods. The felony was expunged, and at that point Scott Bundgaard was at a crossroads.
With his background as a salesman at The Gap, should he venture into the world of retail fashion?
Or should he become a politician?
Unfortunately for all of us, Scott Bundgaard chose politics, with a side career as a stockbroker.
I don't know how Bundgaard has fared in the world of finance. I do know his political career, which began in the House of Representatives when he was 26, is checkered with poor decisions. Some famous highlights: Last session, as a senator, the Glendale Republican sponsored stadium legislation that failed, but would have benefited his close pal Jason Rose--and had nothing to do with Bundgaard's district. Bundgaard once sponsored a death-penalty bill for drug dealers. He supported a silly bill allowing use of the federally banned pollutant Freon in Arizona.
As always, there's more.
And the Arizona Attorney General's Office had better listen up.
Unlike Bundgaard, Lorimor has not been convicted of a felony, but in 1992, in a successful effort to avoid criminal prosecution, Lorimor's company, Rainbow Enterprises, pleaded guilty to "criminally negligent discharge into the waters of the state" in connection with an illegal dump in Deer Valley.
Next, Lorimor got in trouble in Peoria. His "sand and gravel mine" at 7575 West Patrick Lane had been singled out by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the City of Peoria as an illegal dump that threatened public health. Neighbors were also upset--the operation was noisy and dusty.
Bundgaard burst onto the scene last year, pretending to come to Lorimor's aid.
He called meetings at the governor's office and generally bullied DEQ into leaving Lorimor alone until he could create what he called a "win-win" for Lorimor and the neighbors.
Bundgaard didn't give a damn about Lorimor and the neighbors.
He meddled with DEQ to enable his friend, a real estate investor named David Crantz, to purchase Lorimor's 77 acres for $1.3 million--a fire-sale price.
And then the senator began micromanaging the Crantz property, although Bundgaard swears he's never benefited financially in any way from the Crantz-Lorimor deal.
The sale of property was completed in February, but David Crantz and Walter Lorimor had a disagreement over when, exactly, Lorimor was to get off the property. Lorimor said the deadline was July 1. Crantz said the deadline expired 60 days after the sale was completed, by May.
Crantz had told Lorimor he could no longer dump on his land. He told Lorimor to leave. However, Lorimor, stubborn fellow that he is, refused to remove his equipment, his office trailer, his secretary, his trucks and his front-end loader from Crantz's land.
Crantz hoped to put a housing development on the land, so, among other things, he needed to fill up the huge holes gouged out by Lorimor's sand and gravel mining.
On June 3, Bundgaard came to the rescue. As a matter of fact, he acted like he was Crantz's agent.
En route to a west-side grocery store, Bundgaard says he spied a big pile of dirt on a construction site that would help fill up those holes on the Crantz property. He admits he arranged with 4-J Excavating to dump the dirt on Crantz's land. But he says he did this just as a "constituent service."
The problem: When the 4-J trucks arrived at the Crantz land, Lorimor's secretary refused to allow the trucks on the property.
When Lorimor's secretary refused access to the 4-J entourage, the supervisor phoned Bundgaard.
Bundgaard rushed to the property and personally ordered that the materials be dumped.
But, in doing so, the senator also might have violated Peoria ordinances.
Both Lorimor's secretary and the 4-J supervisor say the 4-J trucks contained dirt, asphalt and concrete.
Peoria laws prohibit the dumping of asphalt and concrete within city limits.
If the trucks contained such materials, Bundgaard would have been involved in the same illegal activity that Lorimor had gotten in trouble for.
Of course, Bundgaard says the trucks contained only dirt, which is perfectly legal to use as fill.
But why did he get involved in the whole mess in the first place?
Constituent services, says Bundgaard.
Bundgaard acted like an employee or agent for David Crantz again a few days later. This event is more troubling, because it suggests Bundgaard may have wanted to make some money off of Crantz.
Naturally, Bundgaard denies this.
Here's what happened: On June 8, Crantz decided that since Lorimor's equipment was still on his land, Crantz owned it.
Crantz ordered several dump trucks and a front-end loader towed off in the dead of the night.