Phoenix City Hall Finally Shutters Michael Booher's Rave Scene, Yet the Party Goes On. And What About Clean Elections Cheat Doug Quelland?

A year and a half ago, I told you about Michael "Boo" Booher.

I told you that Boo, 62, was a convicted pedophile — a guy who'd pleaded guilty to molesting a 7-year-old girl. I told you he was hosting unlicensed raves in a warehouse next to the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix, parties that were packing in thousands of teens. I told you how the Fire Department shut one party down — but when the Phoenix Police Department was summoned to the scene, they didn't even write up a report. And so Boo's parties continued.

Outrageous, right?

Michael "Boo" Booher with a young partygoer. For some reason, no one at City Hall found this photo disturbing.
Performance Photographx
Michael "Boo" Booher with a young partygoer. For some reason, no one at City Hall found this photo disturbing.

Not if you work for the city of Phoenix. At City Hall, it seems, outrage is outré. Even the potent combo of sex and drugged-out adolescents can't roust these guys.

Rest assured, this isn't just about ignoring New Times. This is about City Hall ignoring its own police department. (Ultimately, the cops concluded that parties at Boo's were a real problem.)

For nearly two years, City Hall shrugged. First, they ignored the unlicensed parties. Then, after our report made the situation impossible to ignore, they chose to avoid the hammer and instead offered a helping hand — doing what they could to help Booher and the warehouse owner, Malcolm Marr, get a "use permit" to throw raves legally.

So, last July, Marr appeared before the city, along with Booher. (Marr's attorney, Vojtek Karpuk of Jennings Strouss, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)

Marr told the city that he hoped to get a permit to hold bar mitzvahs, quinceañeras, and, yes, raves at the warehouse. Boo himself — the same dude who'd gone to prison for molesting a young girl, only to spend his time as a registered sex offender partying with other young girls — actually got up before the city's zoning adjustment hearing officer and boasted about what a tight ship he was running. Booher explained that his workers screen for illegal drugs and "other illegal activities," according to meeting minutes. Marr added that, historically, raves were held in the desert — by bringing them downtown, he and Booher were just trying to provide a place where they could be "safe and controlled."

The Phoenix Police weren't buying it. Sergeant Jeff Fields noted that he hadn't heard about plans for any bar mitzvahs or quinceañeras. All he knew about were raves. Lieutenant Brad Burt added that his department was opposed to the proposal so long as Booher was involved.

The city approved the plan anyway.

Guess what happened?

Seven months later, Sergeant Laura Liuzzo fired off a memo to her supervisor detailing how raves at the Marr warehouse have "consistently violated" city ordinances.

On February 14, Liuzzo wrote, things got really out of hand.

"[A] large-scale police response was required to quell a fight with multiple suspects that were attempting to incite a riot, and committing aggravated assault on police officers during their arrest for selling drugs," Liuzzo wrote. Earlier the same night, the police and fire departments had arrived on the scene due to concerns about overcrowding; they found exits "locked and blocked," kids as young as 10 years old, and "many of the patrons appeared to be under the influence of drugs."

Booher and Company were hardly cowed. Why should they be? They'd violated the rules before with no consequences.

So just two weeks later, the music was again pumping so loudly that "employees from the Sheriff's Office complained that the bridge between their building and the parking garage was shaking," as Liuzzo wrote. Meanwhile, kids under 18 congregated past the city's curfew; the police were flooded with calls about loud music even after 3 a.m.

Reading that, you might wonder about the whereabouts of one Michael Booher. After all, he'd promised the city that he'd keep things under control, screen for drugs and stop illegal activity.

Yet when Booher and his staff became aware of a detective videotaping the party from the parking garage across the street, reported Sergeant Liuzzo, "they spent close to 15 minutes shining flashlights . . . and attempting to take photographs of him, instead of ensuring that their young partygoers were being kept safe." Nice.

And here's the kicker.

Last week, I sat in a hearing room at City Hall and waited for the city to revoke the warehouse's use permit, as police had recommended. The warehouse had been in clear violation of the law so many times. Surely, I thought, the city would shut down the site.

Instead, an assistant city attorney stood before the hearing officer and explained that it was all good; at some point before the hearing even began, the city had come to terms with Marr, the warehouse owner. Marr had fired Booher. And, he'd agreed that there would be no more raves on the property, just — you know — bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras.

The city dropped its request for revocation. Party on.


A month ago, I told you about the dirty tricks in Arizona's 10th Legislative District race.

I told you about how last fall's race featured a Green Party candidate who'd been officially repudiated by the real Green Party, yet still managed to get $68,531 in public funding for her campaign. Thank you, Clean Elections!

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12 comments
skrillex
skrillex

you are correct on mostly everything you have said, yet maybe instead of making the rave scene look bad, why dont you just work on making raves 16+ instead of little kids going which pisses me off as well,

go after does child mulesters but not the rave scene, some and hopefully all teens go to raves for the music but dont try and get it shut down in AZ..

Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas

So they let the monkey back on the keyboard and she typed out another fantastic tail. Im wondering where is the flying dragon and the knight that goes to slay him? You seem to be creative enough, maybe the National Enquirer would be best suited for this reporter. I wish this was an article that I could analyze, pull apart, and debate the things wrong with this article but it would be a lot like making a replica of the Eiffel tower out of tooth picks and glue, not really worth anyone's time in the end.So I can't wait till Sarah tells us the story of the corrupt government taking paycheck from the cartel and using it to fight puppies.

John Nagy
John Nagy

The Pawns think their kings.. It is not too late friend. Not all the money has been put in the right places. Some ones conscience is waning. Find them mr. writer man.I still believe.

Rick Barrs speaks from his ass
Rick Barrs speaks from his ass

Why is it everyone keeps trying to say he was running these events? He was building management he made sure things ran smoothly if the police spoke to him it's because any event whether it be a club or major venue they ask to speak to the building manager and the promoter. The PROMOTER is the one running the event.

I don't see how it is that difficult for reporters to grasp that concept? Then again anyone who works for the New Times can't be considered a real reporter to begin with so I in all seriousness canceled out that question.

Obviously anyone that goes to jail has a chance to relapse? Not everyone is like that but then again society is so close minded and blind they can't see three feet past their nose.

If you're going to expose one person why not expose the others? Like certain DJs that like underage girls but have never gone to jail or certain promoters? Yet none of them get plastered up here the new times has even written pieces on events these people have done and or played at.

The New Times has been and always will be Helens bitch.

Joseph
Joseph

I think it's funny that over half of my original post is suddenly missing, Here it is again. Once again, you have to read from bottom to top since it was through email....That actually wasn't the point, it was only a smallportion of the article, and it definitely wasn't thereason the event was shut down. Also, it was hisvenue, but he was not "running" the event, that's thejob of the production crew (which, btw, I am a partof). It's obvious to me why you are trying so hard toavoid my very direct question and I at least respectthe fact that you'd rather avoid the subject than lieto me. I know what happened and I'm willing to leaveit at that. I'm glad you exposed Boo because somethingcould have happened and that's not a risk I'm willingto take part in. The motivations for the article areclear though. Hopefully you won't write such biasedmaterial in the future! If for some reason yourwriters do happen to write an article as a favor tosomeone again they should really try and leave out thefact that they have such a strong relationship withthat person. It only makes you look biased as asource and hurts your credibility. Over and out to youtoo. Peace, love, and light!!!

--- Rick Barrs wrote:

> well, if you read it, then you know that the point> was that a sex offender was running the rave in> question. i'm not sure where sarah fenske came upon> that fact, but it was in the public's interest to> report it. come on, do you condone what he did to> wind up in prison? and can you honestly say that a> guy like that should be hanging around young> teen-agers? take a look at the photo accompanying> the article. over and out. > > >>> Joseph Martin 10/26/07> 7:57 PM >>>> lol... I did read the entire article, actually I've> read it a couple times. DID YOU EVEN READ WHAT I> WROTE? ( get> your attention in case your giving me some> manufactured response that you've given to everyone> else since it doesn't seem you read what I wrote) I> never mentioned one thing about the rave scene.> Also,> I certainly never suggested that Helen paid you to> write the story. I did question whether or not she> asked you to do the story. Here, let me quote> exactly> what I wrote to make it easier for you "I never> said,> suggested, or even thought that Helen paid you, I do> feel that she asked you and because of her> relationship with the newspaper (which was also> referenced numerous times in the article) your> newspaper agreed." Obviously there is a reason for> concern since you mentioned several other people> have> written you about the same thing. That's great that> you informed everyone about Boo's past, I'm sure> that> now that people know that they won't work with him> anymore. What relevance that has to my question, I'm> still not really sure. I really don't know why> you're> being so evasive and defensive about answering a> simple question.> > --- Rick Barrs wrote:> > > listen, i already said 'of course not.' we don't> get> > paid by the subjects of stories. your ignorance> > about the situation is obvious. did you even read> > the story? did you note that this guy 'boo' is a> > registered sex offender (he likes for little girls> > to piss on his ball sack), and that he's running> > raves that allow underage kids? that's the point,> > not your rave scene going under. try actually> > reading the whole article, so you can make an> > intelligent point. if you can't do that, shut up.> > > > >> Joseph Martin > 10/26/2007> > 4:19 PM >>>> > I didn't use any other identity, and by me> replying> > to> > your email you should be able to see my last name> by> > now (I know I see it in the body of your> response).> > Regardless of what your suspicions are, that is no> > reason to act in the unprofessional manner that> you> > have. Telling someone to shut up is pretty hostile> > and> > rude, especially when I never accused you of> > anything,> > but instead posed it as a question. I never said,> > suggested, or even thought that Helen paid you, I> do> > feel that she asked you and because of her> > relationship with the newspaper (which was also> > referenced numerous times in the article) your> > newspaper agreed. I would also like it noted that> I> > did not originally present this as an accusation,> > but> > posed it as a question. Also, what's with the name> > calling? Don't you think that's a little> > unprofessional for an entity that's so visible to> > the> > public?.... btw, if you really want to verify my> > identity (and to prove I'm not a "coward") my # is> > 6023990106. Also, if you need both a first and> last> > name to receive a response you should probably say> > that on the site. I was never trying to be> evasive,> > I> > just didn't know it was required. So, now that you> > have the "required information", did Helen ASK you> > to> > write this article? I don't know if you'll even> give> > me an honest answer at this point considering your> > level of professionalism so far, but I figure it's> > worth asking. Maybe that way you can gain back at> > least a little of your integrity.> > --- Rick Barrs wrote:> > > > > here's the same response i sent to one of your> > other> > > identities.> > > > > > so is your name j> > by> > > helen hestenes. come clean on your identity,> > coward.> > > your question is absurd. of course not. for> > letters> > > to the editor, i need full names, even though i> > know> > > people are much braver when they are anonymous.> > > gimme your phone number, too, so i can confirm> > that> > > you actually sent this, whoever you are. > > > > > > > > > > > > >>> Joseph Martin > > 10/26/2007> > > 1:42 PM >>>> > > LMFAO!!! That's funny, I take it by your> hostility> > > that means yes. I don't see how signing my first> > and> > > last name has any relevance to the question, so> I> > > don't know why that would matter. What a coward> > she> > > is> > > and what puppets you all are for doing that.> > That's> > > fine though because karma will take care of it.> I> > > used> > > to respect the New Times because of the risqu�> > > articles you wrote exposing corruption and what> > not,> > > but you just single handedly ruined the papers> > > credibility with me by your response. SHADY!!!!> > > Don't> > > worry, I'll make sure to spread the word!! ;)> > > > > > > > > --- Rick Barrs wrote:> > > > > > > sign your name, or shut up. nobody cares what> > > > anonymous chickens have to> > > > say.> > > > > > > > >>> Joseph 10/25/2007> > 1:40> > > > AM >>>> > > > > > > > SENT FROM:> > > > phoenixnewtimes.com> > > > > > > > DATE/TIME:> > > > October 25, 2007, 1:40 am MST> > > > > > > > SUBJECT:> > > > Boo's Warehouse> > > > > > > > LETTER:> > > > So, did Helen ask you to write the article or> > > what?> > > > Seems kinda odd how> > > > the article seems to glorify not only the> venue,> > > but> > > > the relationship> > > > between the Icehouse and the New Times. > > > > > > > > PERSONAL INFO:> > > > Joseph> > > >

Joseph
Joseph

Just so everyone can see the original intention of the original article that was written about "Boo". Here is the conversation I had with "Rick Barrs" of the New Times in reference to the original 2007 article. You have to read the comments from top to bottom since this was originally an email. The original article was written after Bloodfest 07 was shut down by the fire marshall for occupancy violations after a call from the owner of the Icehouse. Ironically enough Helen, the owner of the Icehouse, continually violated the maximum occupancy in her venue for years before she got Boo's shut down....

That actually wasn't the point, it was only a smallportion of the article, and it definitely wasn't thereason the event was shut down. Also, it was hisvenue, but he was not "running" the event, that's thejob of the production crew (which, btw, I am a partof). It's obvious to me why you are trying so hard toavoid my very direct question and I at least respectthe fact that you'd rather avoid the subject than lieto me. I know what happened and I'm willing to leaveit at that. I'm glad you exposed Boo because somethingcould have happened and that's not a risk I'm willingto take part in. The motivations for the article areclear though. Hopefully you won't write such biasedmaterial in the future! If for some reason yourwriters do happen to write an article as a favor tosomeone again they should really try and leave out thefact that they have such a strong relationship withthat person. It only makes you look biased as asource and hurts your credibility. Over and out to youtoo. Peace, love, and light!!!

--- Rick Barrs wrote:

well, if you read it, then you know that the point was that a sex offender was running the rave in question. i'm not sure where sarah fenske came upon that fact, but it was in the public's interest to report it. come on, do you condone what he did to wind up in prison? and can you honestly say that a guy like that should be hanging around young teen-agers? take a look at the photo accompanying the article. over and out. _____________________________________________________Joseph Martin 10/26/077:57 PM >>>lol... I did read the entire article, actually I've read it a couple times. DID YOU EVEN READ WHAT I WROTE? (>> SENT FROM:phoenixnewtimes.com

DATE/TIME:October 25, 2007, 1:40 am MST___________________________________________________________SUBJECT:Boo's Warehouse

LETTER:So, did Helen ask you to write the article orwhat? Seems kinda odd how the article seems to glorify not only the venue, but the relationship between the Icehouse and the New Times.

William Crum
William Crum

I love the article and I hate to write but you told them that it is going to happen. It might happen to a relatives of the ones complaining about you and we will change their tune but it will be too late. All tigers don't change their spots and will return to bad habits. I too am warning about things that will happen and the city will be liable along with paying out money. Close down the clubs and look for a better ways for our kids to have fun. As for the Q man, he might want to retire and blend back into society but out of making decisions affecting the state and its people.

Hacked
Hacked

This article is another example of how trashy the PNT has become..pure tabloid journalism, no better than The Enquirer. The articles are a string of "wow look at this" or "hey did you hear that" innuendos and happenstances. Is there an interview with Malcolm Marr or "Boo" anywhere? Is there an interview with any official representative of the police or city? Is there any genuine quote attributed to someone of authority beyond innuendos. No..because it is much easier to accuse people than to interview them.

No wonder the bums prefer PNT; its perfect to wipe their asses!

Equity Court Services of Arizo
Equity Court Services of Arizo

What a joke.

You people are so stupid out there. You deserve what you get or DON'T get, meaning any assistance from your government. They take advantage of you because you're dumb desert morons without even HALF of a clue.

Under ARS 12-991, the state criminal nuisance abatement law, an "affected resident" could have sued in Superior Court for an injunction against the CHOMO (cild molester.) They could also sue for money damages.

Of course, the Phoenix City Attorney, the Maricopa County Attorney, and the AZ Attorney General all have standing to sue also. But they don't want to attack a property owner who pays big taxes, regardless of how much crime emanates from his property.

As you know, there are also local nuisance, noise, and other laws/codes that could have been used much earlier if you had officials with IQs a bit higher than houseplants.

Get a real job, Fenske, you little ASU punk.

Gerri Cocozza

Josh Waterman
Josh Waterman

Wow what a horrendously written piece. I don't understand this newspaper at all.Where is the flow to this writing? It seems that its author merely wanted to namedrop "The New Times" as many times as she could. A terrible read.

Mentally incompetent reporter
Mentally incompetent reporter

Wow once again a reporter who doesn't know all the facts starts talking out of their ass. Well this is to be expected from a paper that doesn't get it's facts straight before running a story.

I'm pretty sure you didn't find any 10 year olds there and what noise complaints? From the empty commercial buildings? Were the cops calling 911 as well to report these noise violations? Or was it Helen who owns the Icehouse and is upset that she isn't getting her usual 4-6k dollars from events being done there?

Obviously the police would not see or hear a bar mitzvahs or quincea�s because usually those are held during daylight hours and don't go past 9pm. Then again obviously if this reporter did research the situation and by research I mean pull their head out of their ass and look around for a few minutes they would of seen the other events that go on at the 5th Ave Event Center.

Then again we can't expect much from the Newtimes since they are Helens bitch and always use the Icehouse. This is the most bias and one sided article.

Oh and I'm sure the bridge that was supposely shaking really wasn't considering with how the jail is built next door you can't hear shit inside it but the inmates screaming as they are nearly beaten to death by deputies.

Will Novak
Will Novak

My god the New Times strikes again! Please just stick to making the events calendar and the "Best of," everything else you guys do is mind numbingly retarded.

The guy was convicted and SERVED HIS TIME. Thats it. Its over. Its in the past. Its done. He doesn't have to have it held against him for his entire life. Thats not the way the justice system works, you do a crime, you do the time, then its over. If the justice system felt he was rehabilitated, then we have to accept their professional judgement (which may be slightly more informed and educated that yours) and move on.

Also if this guy was diddling 7 year olds, why would he even be interested in the 17 year olds at his raves?

But yah, we better shutter a downtown business! They haven't done anything wrong, but some creepy weird old guy is associated with them, and that ought to be a crime! The guy was let go anyway, and you still want the place shuttered? For what reason? Is his creepy spirit hovering over the building and looking up girls skirts?

 
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