Letters From the Issue of Thursday, July 6, 2006

House Bloat

Don't hold your breath: ASU hereby demands that New Times timely correct its false statements as required under A.R.S. 512-653.03.

ASU is truly disappointed by [John] Dougherty's article ("Bleak House," June 8).

ASU responded in a timely and good faith manner to Mr. Dougherty's several public records requests relating to this issue; yet Mr. Dougherty authored — and New Times published — his false, misleading and deceptively incomplete article.

Had Mr. Dougherty conducted thorough, objective due diligence, or asked follow-up questions, to test the erroneous conclusions he apparently reached, he would have understood and then been in a position to accurately write about the true facts underlying the sale of the subject property.

Regrettably, Mr. Dougherty failed to do so. . . . We look forward to reviewing your corrective article.
Paul J. Ward, vice president for university administration and general counsel, ASU

Editor's note: For the full text of an earlier letter from ASU requesting extensive corrections to Dougherty's June 8 column — and his detailed rebuttal of each point — see the ASU attachment to this week's Dougherty column (also on the subject of the sale of the president's house at ASU). The excerpt above is from a subsequent letter again demanding extensive corrections, which New Times declines to make.

Real criminal matters: I agree with reader Tom Hamlyn ("The Once and Future President's House," Letters, June 22) that some law enforcement agency must investigate the shenanigans between ASU and Steve Tseffos.

But Andrew Thomas, our county attorney, is too busy messing with Mexicans to do any real law enforcement investigating. And that includes handing money to his old buddies to do his Mexican bashing for him in the form of trumped-up legal work ("Bully Pulpit," John Dougherty, June 29). I'm referring, of course, to Thomas' getting his old boss, lawyer Dennis Wilenchik, to handle alleged aggrieved victims of drunk drivers in Thomas' efforts to keep Spanish from being spoken in rehabilitative courts. What a crock of shit for the esteemed county attorney to be bothering with.

But I digress: A lot of us are getting tired of ASU's cavalier attitude that whatever it wants to do with taxpayer-owned property is its own damn business. I'll bet its high-and-mighty officials are screaming about John Dougherty's investigative reporting at the university's expense. First he nails them for their sorry handling of the Loren Wade/Dirk Koetter football team scandal ("Fire HIM!," May 4) and then he nails them by exposing the sleazy president's house deal.

If County Attorney Thomas doesn't step up on this smelly house deal, I'm for beginning a recall petition.
A.J. Morales, Phoenix

Connective issue: Yes indeed, insider connections once again overshadow any ethical, transparent or "good-for-the-constituents" decision-making in ASU/Tempe town. I'm among those who think that Mr. Well-Connected Realtor Steve Tseffos and the folks at ASU should be investigated for this deal.
Monica Wadsworth, Tempe

Pop! goes the politician: I expect there to be insider connections with a politician like County Attorney Andrew Thomas. It's no big surprise that he reprehensively hires his old boss' firm for hundreds of thousands of dollars in business at taxpayers' expense. "Politician" and "weasel" are synonymous. (Even if his pal is the best lawyer in America, this looks bad.) But I expect more out of ASU, because it is a bastion of higher learning that is operated with the utmost integrity. Or so ASU President Michael Crow always says.

Then, what went wrong with the ASU president's house deal?! How could insider connections be allowed to enter into this like they did? I've heard that ASU is trying to distance itself from this deal by claiming ignorance, among other things, but I hope that New Times doesn't let it get away with that. Like John Dougherty wrote in his column, there needs to be an investigation.
Paula Jones, Phoenix

Kudos Galore

Highest regards: I just wanted to write in and congratulate John Dougherty and New Times for finally getting a smattering of the recognition that he and it deserve for the eye-popping polygamy coverage the paper has published over the past three or four years ("Dougherty Honored" with the Casey Medal, June 22).

Without it, Warren Jeffs, the religion's criminal prophet, would not be on the FBI's Most Wanted List, and none of the rapists of little girls would be indicted and standing trial.

That it took law enforcement so long to do anything about this heinous problem — and still the surface has only been scratched — is almost unbelievable. The practice of turning the other way for so long by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard is criminal. I don't know how they can sleep at night.

If not for John, this would still be a terrible little secret that mainstream Mormons could keep hidden. There would be no national publicity, no book on the subject, not even the HBO show Big Love. (For the life of me, I don't know why Dougherty doesn't sue the creators of that show who have taken their plot lines right out of the pages of his New Times articles.)

Again, congratulations, John! Without your work, Arizona would be much worse off than it is. My hat is off to you and to New Times for employing you to fight unpopular battles.
John Tomkins, via the Internet

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