Behind BadPhoenixCops.com: The Blogger Who Took on the Phoenix PD — and the Homicide Detective Who Might Be His Best Source

The ugliest donnybrook to hit the Phoenix Police Department in years started with one man's divorce.

That man, Jeff Pataky, wasn't a cop. He had nothing to do with cops, not at the time. He was just a software engineer-turned-blogger whose marriage had ended. But before all the issues in Pataky's divorce could be settled, he managed to create a slugfest that now threatens the stability of the Phoenix PD's homicide bureau.

It all began in 2007, after Pataky's soon-to-be-ex wife, Julie Cioppa, filed for an order of protection, claiming her ex-husband had abused her. After months of mudslinging from both sides, she managed to convince Phoenix police detectives that Pataky had violated the order. They arrested him.

As it turned out, the charge was bunk. Cioppa had apparently manufactured evidence, and the cops failed to do enough homework to realize it. The case fell apart on the very first day of trial.

And that's when Pataky started the Web site. Badphoenixcops.com doesn't just criticize the Phoenix PD brass — it excoriates them. The site promises "cover-ups and corruption," "dirty deeds and misgivings" — and, if its reporting can be believed, the site more than delivers. Think allegations of racism, adultery, a "massive cover-up" in the Baseline Killer case, and near-constant use of the term "assclowns" to describe high-ranking officers.

So when Phoenix police officers raided Pataky's home early on the morning of March 9, civil libertarians across the country cried foul.

The cops seized Pataky's laptop, his roommate's laptop, and his wireless modem. Then they busted into his safe and took his backup devices. Although Pataky was out of town, the cops handcuffed and detained his female roommate for three hours. Meanwhile, Pataky's sons — two elementary school students — had to be taken to school by uniformed officers, according to court records.

The raid quickly became a public relations nightmare for the Phoenix Police Department. Bloggers raised hell, videos defending Pataky sprung up on YouTube, and police brass were left scrambling to explain their actions.

Their "explanations" were cryptic, at best. The city's public information officers claimed that Pataky wasn't necessarily the target of the investigation, and that police weren't attempting to silence their most vocal critic.

All that may well be true. But the record suggests that even if they weren't trying to shut up Pataky, they were trying to shut down his best source — and that they'd come to believe that source was one of their own.

For the cops didn't just raid Jeff Pataky's home on March 9. They also raided the home of a 13-year veteran of the police force, Officer David Barnes.

The warrant sought Barnes' computer and other electronics. It also sought "any personal communication between Jeffrey Pataky and David Barnes."


Three months after the raids, the smoke has yet to clear.

Barnes' lawyer, Craig Mehrens, has requested that the court unseal the search warrants that allowed police into his home. But after police objected, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe agreed to keep the documents under wrap for four months, to give police time to continue their investigation without tipping their hand. We won't know until June 30 exactly what the cops seized, or why.

And many of the key people in this case refused interviews with New Times. Both Pataky and Barnes declined comment. So did the Phoenix Police Department and Barnes' attorney, Mehrens.

But after scouring hundreds of pages of public records, including e-mails from police commanders, internal memos, and court files, and talking to nearly a dozen Phoenix police officers, two important things become clear.

One, as much as he's infuriated Phoenix police officers, Jeff Pataky was almost certainly not the raid's ultimate target.

Two, the Phoenix PD is under serious pressure from within. Tension is roiling the homicide unit, the union that represents the department's rank and file is locked in a fierce battle with management, and a once-loyal band of brothers is now wracked with division.

Ultimately, this story isn't about a falsely accused man taking on the Phoenix PD. It's about a cop who decided to take on other cops — and the potential consequences for the city's homicide bureau and a host of high-profile murder cases.

Police investigators are convinced that David Barnes became disgruntled after he was transferred out of the city's homicide bureau. In his anger, they believe, Barnes began feeding information to Pataky — and they think he may have violated the law to do so.

Barnes' union representative, Dave Kothe, says that Barnes has denied being a source to the Web site — and, as Kothe points out, the blog indisputably is being fed by more than one police officer. But anecdotal evidence certainly points to Barnes' involvement. Soon after his transfer out of the homicide division, the detective's obsessions began to be reflected on the blog. The co-workers who Barnes had clashed with were dragged through the mud, accused of everything from adultery to racism. Meanwhile, the blog lauded Barnes as a whistleblowing hero.

It's clear that Barnes and Pataky have met. Unbelievably, records show that Barnes didn't just take a police report at Pataky's home — he also testified, twice, in the child-custody portion of Pataky's divorce case.

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22 comments
Peter
Peter

do the cops actually respond?

wonder who?
wonder who?

David Barnes is a corrupt piece of garbage. No i'm not a cop, just a guy he wanted to see doing 25 years for a crime that never happened. Funny how the ME's report changed all that. Something quite definitive when the manner of death is ruled "natural"

All you had to do was stop Barnes and admit you got it wrong but your fragile little boy ego just couldn't allow that but you did manage to hide exculpatory evidence.

Just wanted you to know I'm doing just fine despite how bad you helped to destroy my life. I'm glad to see you aren't a cop anymore. I hope you get a taste of the misery you so easily served up. You're a punk and always will be.

mike
mike

Statistics are a funny thing. We always here about how something like Lysol is 99.99% effective against germs or how things are 99.99% likely to be true, but we rarely discuss or think about the leftover .1%.

Mr, Pataky, you are the .1% that the Phoenix Police department never account for in their disaster plan. They plan for pandemics, anarchy, global unrest, protests, dirty bombs and undoubtedly have a plan for practically every event; except on what to do with an outspoken, highly critical citizen like you. You have shown them what .1% can and will do to a city. You sir are a remarkable .1%.

You continually use PPD and city resources and their own policies against them. This latest Blog on Sergeant Mike Polombo violating Ops Order 5.2 is short of brilliance. It lays a great foundation for your trial and they are damned if they investigate and fire him and if they don�t investigate him and take significant action, it plays into your mass corruption accusations. I might add that Mr. Polombo is also not allowed to speak about citizens in a disparaging way � referring to you (and all of us) as �mentally ill cowards and perpetual liars.� I would suggest you contact your counsel Jess Lorona for a libel suit. Mr. Polombo forgets that he is a cop and he is not entitled to an opinion nor is he allowed to comment. Just the facts please. Even Sergeant Tommy Thompson declined commentary, but Mike Polombo was allowed to write in? Simply brilliant on your part for pointing that out. I just can�t say it enough.

I read this article in the PNT and was personally traumatized by what they have done to you. I imagine myself in a similar position and would have probably gone ballistic. No cop (warrant or not) would ever enter my home, or at least there would be one or two carried out with me.

I applaud you for your actions, your resilience, your perseverance, and your dedication. To copy a previous comment what you are doing requires some major balls. The Phoenix PD don�t know how to deal with exceptionally smart people, at least people who are much smarter than them and can beat them at their own game. What�s ironic is if the Police would just acquiesce to you (fire the bad cops, do their job, act with integrity, investigate the cops and your ex who wronged you) it would save them a lot of trouble and resource dollars. Why is that so hard for them to do? Maybe it would show that a citizen WAS RIGHT? That they made a mistake? Are they not infallible?

The harder they keep trying to get you and the longer they harass you and hold onto your belongings, the larger your dollar claim against the city becomes. It just goes to show how stupid they truly are! They are in a no-win situation. It�s a Blog for Christ�s sake if they don�t like, they don�t have to read it! Keep blogging and keep up the good work.

Check please!

Rudy
Rudy

"Thanks for driving traffic to badphoenixcops.com though. Everyone is grateful for that since that is one way to learn the accurate facts and goings on at PPD."

Oh Please, a website with "the accurate facts and goings on at PPD." Wendy you're so full of shit. Mark is guilty as sin.

Vito
Vito

Is there a nude negro policy in phoenix?

ForReals
ForReals

Sarah � Good job on portraying blogger Jeff�s nutjob wife for being exactly that. What a creep and the question does need to be asked �why hasn�t she been charged for falsifying evidence?�

Dave Barnes is abrasive. Ok, big deal. Alex Fermenia, Mike Polumbo, Jack Harris and all the other corrupt and arrogant cops should build a bridge and get over that.

Your article seemed to be a feeble attempt at propaganda for PPD. These SOBs (good cops excluded) HID EXCONERATING EVIDENCE from Mark Goudeau�s defense team, even allowing him to go to trial! And for the record � you see records are what you check to do actual fact finding so as not to irresponsibly report misinformation and crap as you did � Terry Wayne Smith HAS NOT BEEN RULED OUT AS THE BASELINE SUSPECT by Dave Barnes or anyone else. If so, why was this extensive 300 page report shoved under the rug and put into an electronic format by PPD making it virtually impossible to retrieve? You should check with a real reporter, Shanna Hogan, to verify the times Smith was in and out of jail in correlation to the crimes, or at least public records that are easily accessible online. (Public records - you can consider that a tip from me.)

I�m sorry, Sarah, but you and Paul Rubin have a hard-on for PPD, (and the prosecutors Suzanne Cohen and William Clayton who also covered this up), and that�s pretty obvious from this article. It only demonstrates yours and Paul�s complete inability to report the truth. Thanks for driving traffic to badphoenixcops.com though. Everyone is grateful for that since that is one way to learn the accurate facts and goings on at PPD.

Gratitude
Gratitude

It all started with one lie. The homicide department could not $afford$ for Sgt Polombos affair and cover up to come out. That, coupled with the error of the crime lab would undermine all the work that had been done. The timing couldn't be worse. Right in the middle of a serial killer investigation, the biggest the City had seen. Mike Polombo had an affair with a subordinate during the investigation and then LIED about it. THAT WOULD RUIN HIS CREDIBILITY. SO they had to "make it go away" So, when Suzanne Polombo threatened to tell Mikes Commander, he jumped into action by slandering Suzanne and anyone who befriended her. The witchhunt began, calls made to other departments including the Communication department silencing anyone that knew Suzanne or talked to her. Anyone who befriended Suzanne was immediately suspect. If only, Mike Polombo had been a man, told the truth, taken his consequences, if only. Fortunately, for all of us there was a man, Dave Barnes, who stood up for the truth. And because he did they will have to discredit him as well, because like I said the department cant $afford it$ If only Mike Polombo would tell the truth, just one time. Lie Number One I did not have an affair with Heather Armstrong during my marriage. 1.But, if Verizon cell phones records were subpoened, it would show hundreds of telephone calls between Sgt Polombo and his subordinate Heather Armstrong. 2.The Vegas Convention where they both attended. Mike Polombo was not in his room the entire night. The hotel will have record of the hundreds of calls that were made to his room. Hotel surveillence cameras would have shown the dirty details. 3.After telling his Lt. Benny Pina that he "was not seeing Heather Armstrong",Benny Pina and his wife were at dinner at a local restaurant and ran into Mike Polombo and Heather Armstrong. The next day Lt. Pina told his boss Commander Klima that he had seen Mike and felt like Mike had made a fool of him and it was evident the Mike had lied. 4.Mike Polombo and Heather Armstrong were seen by a witness that will come forward at a volleyball game. When Mikes daughter asked him who he was at the girls volleyball tournament with he replied "what volleyball game?" Lie Number two. I have never called a co-worker the N word. I am not a rascist. You only need to pull his early records to show that Mike Polombo was repremanded for calling a black man "Buckwheat". You only need to ask his x-wife and daughter or many co-workers how many time he referred to Kevin Robinson and any other black person for that matter, the N word. There is an Italian name for black people, one of his favorite terms. He told his daughter he would kill her before she would be allowed to date a black man. Lie Number 3. Mike made false allegations on an Order of Protection. 1. Mike Polombo signed and swore that his x-wife had been in two mental hospitals. Of course, he had no documentation to support the allegation. BECAUSE IT IS A LIE By the way, Mike Polombo voluntarily relinquished his parental rights and gave sole custody to Suzanne Polombo, Why would you give your only child to a mentally ill bipolar woman. 2. Mike polombo signed and swore that his x-wife was diagnosed bi-polar . But of course Mr. polombo was unable to suppport his allegation with any Dr. or pharmacy perscriptions. BECAUSE IT IS A LIE 3.Mike Polombo was quite positive that his x-wife wrote the annonomous letter to the Phx PD. Suzanne Polombo paid for a private polygraph service used by the Glendale PD and has the documentation. She passed the polygraph test stating that she did not write the letter and did not ask anyone to write the letter and did not know who wrote the letter. 4. Mike Polombo continues to claim that Suzanne Polombo "tried to extort monies" from him. Michael Polombo has the actual phone call taped. PLEASE subpoena the tape, it was taped the same day Suzanne Polombo found the numerous telephone calls on his cell phone made to his subordinate Heather Armstrong and called him at work to confront him. . Lie Number 5. Mike said his x wife rifled through his personal files. Mike Polombo worked in Internal Affairs prior to being handed or gifted his position into Homicide. Mike kept his cases in his garage. When he left his wife and child he left his files in an unsecured garage for over a year. His x-wife called internal affairs and had them pick them up. Tracy Montgomery was one of the IA files that was left in the unsecured garage. HIPPA..GARRITY..everything you wouldn't want the public to get their hands on. His xwife Suzanne continues to find tapes and dvds as recently as June of 2009 and continues to turn them over to IA. Lie Number 6. Mike Polombo slandered his wife Suzanne Polombo in order to insure she did not get re-hired. Suzanne Polombo passed the polygraph, the written test, the Criti-call test, the background check and the panel interview. Suzanne Polombo received a phone call from Lt. Spalla informing her that she was not eligible for re-hire because " she was in the process of a divorce with a current employee." Lt Spalla then turned around and gave her a sterling recommendation to the Glendale Police Department. Consequently, Suzanne Polombo was hired by the Glendale Police Department.

Next time you run a story, maybe you should interview the people that you write about.

Jack
Jack

Ms. Fenske:

I too am a long time reader of Phoenix New Times (15 or so years) and am a little disappointed in the article. It is so abundantly clear that Pataky and Barnes are targets by the Phoenix Police and it is even clearly spelled out on the BadPhoenixCops.com website that Mike and Heather Polombo planned a stress leave, sent emails from Heather�s computer to forward their claim of harassment and then a full blown investigation gets done (with my tax dollars) on nameplates, pototo heads and for a lying whore like Heather and a racist like Mike Polombo. You really did miss the journalistic opportunity to tell everyone what is REALLY going on in the PPD. 50% of homicides get solved, Jack Harris is running the place into the ground, there is no one at the executive level worth a shit, and the Goudeau/Baseline murder case is Fucked with a capital �F.�

There is no doubt that Paul Rubin feed this story, worked on this story, counseled you on this story and mentored you to write it. Pataky�s story is a sad one that is told many times in the Valley, but the lengths the police have gone to ruin his life is nuts. His wife is a wacko and everyone who has taken a report from her in the PPD (and there have been many, just do a records request on that alone) knows she is vengeful, willing to work with the Phoenix PD to get her ex and extremely bitter about life. Barnes was one of the best �rising stars� in the Phoenix PD, not many come along with the skills and tenacity like him. And now his career is in jeopardy because of a racist lying dirtball and his orally fixated wife.

auntCC
auntCC

Ms FenskeI find your story abhorrent since it only is a vindication of the PPD. You totally missed the point and for that you went to College and got a degree. I thought Journalism was unbiased and fair.........excuse me.....but that class you must have missed. I am a supporter of the New Times but after your article I will really do some soul searching to see if I want to be at the next March for Immigration equality. I am sure your Co-worker Mr. Lemons appreciates the negative publicity you have brought upon the Paper. Keep sticking your head into the sand when it comes to Phoenic PD because you are in bed with them but go after Joe Arpio because he is too old? Is that fair and unbiased reporting? I don't think so and will be very vocal from now on on the two faced Reporting re: the Phoenix New Times.I have been a supporter for years but now????????? was I fooled???????? are they just like the rest of them???????selective reporting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The credabilety(sp) of the New Times has suffered and I for one will now be less inclined to quote the New Times. Sorry Mr. Lemons but this "Lady"has also made it so that you now have to substantiate in triplicate what beforehand was unnecessary. With Friends like her you really don't need enemies.A faithful New Times Reader that has her foundation shaken rattled and rolled. Sorry New Times .....you really messed up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve o
Steve o

What drives me crazy about this article is the way a citizen in Phoenix gets railroaded by an ex-spouse claiming abuse and nothing happens to her! How can this be? I can�t turn a channel on the TV and not see something about domestic violence, woman�s abuse shelters or the stats on how many women are abused by their spouse and this woman Julie Cioppa makes things up, lies in court and gets away with it?

Early in the article it states �She claimed that he'd been abusive and filed for an order of protection.� and �he was a bad father� � is this a joke? Are there police reports? Is there evidence of abuse? And then she goes to court and claims he is a bad father? Did she also tell them she didn�t like his socks and shoes?

If a detectives job is to �detect� and investigate, how could they not see an angry, bitter, divorced lying woman trying to get her ex- husband? I think it is their job and they must encounter ex- spouses daily trying to attack and lie to gain the upper hand in divorces. If she duped them and he was arrested because of that, they should clean any record, pay for his legal fees (and then some) reprimand and fire some cops, and through this lying be�yotch in Tent City. And then to add insult to injury, the police raid this mans house after all he has been through! They must be incredibly stupid and have plenty of money to pay out after Mr. Pataky sues the shit out of them.

If you are a woman in Phoenix and you or your friends have experienced any level of domestic abuse, you should be outraged at this woman Julie Cioppa for being a lying cunt. I would like to learn more about this supposed �disability claim� because if she is on disability and �riding a horse� that affects all of us and maybe, just maybe this woman shouldn�t be getting a free ride! Why don�t the police investigate her for insurance fraud? If someone knows anything about it please post it here.

I�m glad Mr. Pataky started a website and will now add it to my list of favorites. It�s about time someone stood up to the lies and the travesties happening in the courts today.

Dan
Dan

Eric: Those are harsh words for Ms. Fenske, but I feel I must agree. I think she did her best to be fair to the detective and blogger. But clearly the New Times has an unethical relationship with the Phoenix Police Department, which is preventing them from reporting the facts.

I used to respect the New Times for standing up to injustice and taking on powerful enemies like Joe Arpaio. But after this story, it is clear to me that the New Times' main objective is not to do meaningful investigations. Instead the New Times is about friends and enemies.

With their enemies like Joe Arpaio, they write scathing cover stories with headlines like, "Neo-nazis love Joe Arpaio." On the other hand, with their friends like the Phoenix PD, they go to such lengthy extents to attempt to discredit one detective who disagreed with policies that were clearly costing homicide cases and jeopardizing the safety of Valley residents.

It is disgraceful that the New Times refuses to tell the real story about the problems in Phoenix PD. Can you really blame the controversy on one disgruntled detective when, even in this story, they writer has to acknowledge that the crime lab is severely flawed and the homicide department is preoccupied with petty internal fights and accusations of affairs?

But the New Times didn't write about those problems! Instead they wrote about the two people trying to expose these issues!

It is disgraceful.

Clearly, the New Times showed their hand with this piece and their alliance with the PD is now well known.

The only comfort I have is that I can't imagine anyone but members of the Phoenix PD, would be interested in reading this story. This story affects no one, but the New Times is so disconnected with their readers that they probably didn't even realize that.

The best information in this story is not even about Phoenix PD. It is about the New Times, itself. I wonder, Ms. Fenske, did Paul Rubin come to you and ask you to write this piece? Obviously, he couldn't write a story on that detective given his past history with him. But how involved was he with this story? Did he help gather facts for you? Did he point you in the "right" direction?

With this piece you attempt, unsuccessfully, to show this blogger is a puppet, controlled by one disgruntled detective.

The truth is, the puppet is one of your "close friends." And the puppet master is the corrupt higher ups in the Phoenix police department, including his "friends" Ballentine and Polombo!

Ms. Fenske you were clearly played by Mr. Rubin and the Phoenix PD.

I can only hope that once you realize this, you start to ask some questions and investigate your paper's own unethical relationship with the department it claims to cover.

I will guarantee once you find out the truth, you WILL be ashamed that you name is on this story and you WILL lose sleep at night.

Eric
Eric

Ms. Fenske, have you ever heard the term "setup"? How about "fall guy"? I (and probably half of Phoenix at this point) think you got handed this story on a silver platter and figured it would make your career to get in good with the guys at PPD who (at your current employer) you couldn't (or wouldn't) take on for their many faults.Call it cowardice- call it stupidity- call it what you want, but anyone who reads this that knows any semblance of the truth about PPD will now know that you aren't a journalist; you are just a pawn. In this case, the "fall guy."This article talks all about discrediting people, but no one can sell your credibility out quite like you just did.I am not a coward like you; I can actually say what I mean and not hide behind euphemisms and tricky language to try to say inflammatory things and cover my own case. Next time you might try doing some research next time if you are going to stick your neck out for anyone.

"(Full disclosure: Rubin and I have worked together for more than four years, and I consider him a friend as well as colleague.)"

How did you ever even consider writing this article? I'm pretty sure they cover this is journalism classes; that if you are involved in a story you probably shouldn't write about it?Considering your boss has a personal friend NAMED and INTERVIEWED in this article, I think that immediately discounts you are a credible or relevant source for anything involving the Phoenix Police Department. Frankly, I wouldn't trust your reporting on what they had for lunch much less what they are doing internally. Congratulations on making it as a journalist, you are now about as attractive to any reputable newspaper as the Ebola virus.

Mike
Mike

For the real story about what is going on in the Phoenix Police Department, from a media outlet that is not "in bed" with the Phoenix Police, check out the following stories from two of the only media outlets bothering to actually do journalism in this town.

The last one is particularly interesting. It is on the report which was concealed in the Baseline Killer investigation. They also post that report online for anyone to read for themselves. I hadn't heard of that paper before, but it's a really good story.

http://www.kpho.com/news/17956...

http://www.kpho.com/news/19072...

http://www.kpho.com/news/17981...

http://www.timespublications.c...

http://www.timespublications.c...

Dead Man's Hand
Dead Man's Hand

This story is far too complex and deeply rooted for Sarah "the biased one" Fenske to report with enough candor and objectivity to be taken seriously.

The facts are these:

1....The Phoenix Police department has a myriad of Rogue Police Officers who will and have deliberately violated the Constitution.

2.....The Phoenix Police Department is unilaterally providing false and misleading evidence to Grand Jury's to get as many indictment's and skins as they readily can. The County Attoreney's Office is in concert with this compelling injustice and the Judiciary needs to step in and take corrective action.

3.....The leadership at the Phoenix Police Department has turned a blind eye due to the relationships it has formed over the years and scoffs at anyone who reports police abuse on the internet whereby Expression is no longer Free.

4.....The Family Investigation Bureau will investigate anyone and everyone who seeks information about their Detectives "Off Duty Employment".

5.....The family Investigative Bureau should be investigated by the Justice Department and Detectives should be terminated for seeking illicit search warrants and mobilizing SWAT Teams for improper and unnecessary retaliatory purposes.

6.....The Phoenix Police Department will have to explain to it's taxpaying citizens why they are not a transparent government agency and why they are vilifying law abiding former and present law enforcement officers for providing credible evidence with threats of incarceration and the illegal breaching of their homes and seizing of their personal property.

Fenske, it's all well and good that you, Lacey and Larkin have the "Nut's" to report on this event however it is not a standalone event and there are other egregious actions that coincide with the illegal and ongoing acts of violence and conspiracy by the 4th floor of the FIB. Report all the facts, not simply the one's you find will do the least amount of damage. The truth is out there!!

Anyone wishing to incorporate and blow the whistle on police corruption in the Phoenix Police Department feel free to contact homebreach@gmail.com.

Kerry
Kerry

As a native Phoenician and a professional journalist, I am disheartened by the one-sided journalism in this article.

Perhaps it was one-sided because no one would talk to your reporter.

Do you even have to WONDER why that is??

All this article did, was once again, defend the ineptness of the higher ups in the PPD and the County Attorney's office.

I guess the relationship between Paul Ruben, The Phoenix New Times and the Brass of PPD continues - even the author claims to be Ruben's "friend and colleague." As if putting a disclaimer in there makes the reporting any more unbiased (rolling eyes).

This article should have focused on the INJUSTICE that has been served against Dave Barnes, Jeff Pataky, and yes, even Mark Goudeau.

Did the author if this article even READ the BadPhoenixCops.com website?

If so, it would have been PAINFULLY obvious that there is a cover-up in the LARGEST murder investigation that Phoenix has ever seen.

Evidence was hidden (which now has been made public - read the report for yourselves on the BadPhoenixCops.com website) that could have kept Mark Goudeau out of jail.

The homicide detectives did not even give credence to the report that was compiled by a "lowly Patrol Officer."

The officer was DEAD ON in his assumption that Terry Wayne Smith could very possibly be The Baseline Killer.

I beg people - report the report!! It will make you so mad, you will want to spit. This kind of nonsense (hiding important information in a crucial investigation) has to stop!!

Did the PPD feel so threatened by Dave Barnes and Jeff Pataky, that their secrets would be revealed, that they tried to strong-arm both of these men?

Please, Phoenix New Times, report ALL of the story next time.

I know your staff wants to be buddies with the PPD higher ups, but journalism is supposed to be UNBIASED!

Perhaps your writers need to take a page from Sam Donaldson's book on fair reporting. Never, did Sam EVER report on something that wasn't balanced or factual.

Seems to me the PPD Brass handed you what they "wanted" to be known - not the truth!

More of the Same
More of the Same

That site is crap. It is more of Mark Spencer trying to get the word out. Mark is totally behind the site, they print everything he id doing.

Mark failed at trying to get the chief fired because he has lost all of his credibility -- no, he has lost all of the credibility of his organization. PLEA has put their faith in the wrong person.

Mark Spencers men are turning against him -- check out the blog http://markspencer-ppd.blogspo...

Mark Spencer has been found out. He is a lying jackass.

Suzanne
Suzanne

You were right about one thing Ms. Fenske, Mike Polombo's trouble all started with women. At least that is what the therapist told us when we sought her help during Mikes first affair while I was pregnant with our daughter. I believe she called it "Emotional incest" and a "strong hatred of women."

Which leads us to the next part of your story, Karen Vance. Yes, Mike hated her, came home and vowed to have her fired. Called her a "incompetent cunt" one of his favorite terms to use when referring to women. You see MS. Fenske, Mike was jealous because she is a Detective...something he was not and will never be. But How..you ask...did he get into homicide. Uncle Bill a Commander that owed Mike a favor for handling a rape charge his son had been accused of. Oh..Ms Fenske..you didn't know about that ? Well, I dont believe you have the journalistic ability to research that story but, perhaps your friend and co-worker Paul Reuben could ask his friend Mike Polombo who was introduced by Jack Ballentine. All who plan on writing books and movie deals based on their great "dick" abilities.

And then there is Dave Barnes... Mike referred to him on several occasions as the "best detective that he and the homicide department had ever seen" Mike so badly wanted Barnes in his squad. But Barnes was on Karen vances squad and that friendship didn't set well with Polombo. Oh, what a tangled web was weaved, covering up affairs both of himself and his Lieutenant. Fabricating allegations on a Order of Protection all "smoke and mirrors" to make the x wife look crazy in order to deflect the spotlight off of his dirty deeds.

And then the most important part of your story..the Baseline investigation. I remember when he came home ..crying over the crime lab..feeling so guilty. Little did I know at the time that he was having an affair with a subordinate. Ultimately 7 people paid the price. I wonder Ms. Fenske if your daughter had been a victim of such an oversight, would you want Detective Dave Barnes on the case or Mike Polombo.

By the way, I do not hold the title of Mrs. Potato Head..that honor rests solely on his current wife Heather Armstrong. I can assure you any title with the word "head" in it belongs to her.

Sloppy journalism......There are numerous taped conversations, cellphone records..polygraphs etc that would have changed the direction of you story...But alas you didn't do the work.....Sloppiness seems to be the COMMON THREAD

Jeff
Jeff

Sarah:

Good article and thanks for the publicity! The hits to our site are out of this world!

We couldn�t agree more with the above comments. My ex-wife should be held accountable for false swearing. What will be even more shocking to everyone is the very day after the trial (on May 10, 2008) and numerous times since then, my-ex files additional reports against me. She tries to get me on just about anything she can make up. When I go to pick up my kids, she claims I am harassing her and stalking her. The Phoenix Police just don�t get it! When I asked Jeoffrey Hynes (commander in Family Investigations), �Why do you continue to let her file false reports and when are you going to go after her?� His answer was �She can file whatever she wants, whenever she wants and it is her version of the truth.� In my opinion this is police work 101 and no one appears to be doing their job and/or protecting my rights as a citizen in Phoenix. In the long run, it only helps and provides more fodder for my lawsuits against the City on how biased they have become and how they wont ever help me.

There are some other facts that need clarification:

1) Dave Barnes was subpoened by my ex wife for court. He pled the 5th there too, so there was no testifying on anyone�s behalf. There�s really nothing for him to testify to. He met my counsel Jess Lorona while sitting in the hallway outside of the courtroom. The site badphoenixcops.com openly claims that all cops should consult with and retain Jess as their counsel. Several sworn and retired officers have retained Jess (or are retaining) as a result of this case. Jess told you in your interview with him how many suits and claims that are going to be filed against the Phoenix PD. I also know that my divorce attorney Kerrie Droban has retained several cops in their divorce cases. That doesn�t mean any of those cops are sources to BadPhoenixCops, although the Phoenix PD will think so.

2) There have been all sorts of rumors on who owns the website, but it sure is not me. Rumors were that Barnes owns the site and a consortium of cops own it. Someone even told me that Barnes and I grew up together/went to High School together in So Cal (absolutely absurd). You surmised that Billy Coleman and Mark Spenser must own the site for us denying you an interview request. Also your claim that Barnes is our �only source� is far off the mark. Most of the time we don�t know our sources (and we don�t care to) and of those we do, we will take to the grave. By viewing the site it is clear that many, many officers are posting and giving us stuff�so why are the Phoenix PD solely after Dave Barnes? Two recent posts show internal memos from the City Attorney�s office and a recent one from Lt. Lowell Spalla that were leaked to us, driving city attorney Stephen Craig into a hissy fit citing the release of attorney~client information. With Barnes home on paid leave, it would be impossible for him to have access to memos that are limited to City attorneys and executive management. There are many, many sources within the Phoenix PD providing data to the website. Also a few of us log into the gmail account badphoenixcops@gmail.com so sometimes I answer, sometimes others. My story definitely was the catalyst for the site, but it has grown into so much more! Dave Barnes and I were not long time friends, conspiring on a website or doing anything surreptitious and sneaky. If Dave contacted BadphoenixCops he did so cloaked with blocked numbers and hidden emails as we recommend to every cop who contacts us. We tell every cop to cover their tracks and even share with them how to hide IPs and contact us. Even if we were emailing � where is the crime and the justification to raid my home and violate the 1st and 4th Amendment rights of my family?

3) Mike Polombo and your own Paul Rubin are good friends. That�s Paul Rubin�s problem, not ours and say a lot about Paul�s character. Paul has never done a negative article on the Phoenix PD, even though reports show that only 50% of Homicide crimes in Phoenix ever get solved � far below the national average. He wouldn�t dare do a negative article against his buddies. If I were you I would check my sources as I don�t think Barnes was the only one to see Rubin�s logged into a city computer. I don�t even think a formal investigation was completed. Jack Balentine would log into a computer with his own ID and let Paul have unfettered access. Balentine, Polombo, Knott are all part of the systemic rot that is in the Homicide division. There is no way any fair and impartial investigation would/could be done.

This story is far from over and the Phoenix PD and the City are about to get hit with multiple Notice of Claims and lawsuits. They have only themselves to blame and will pay dearly for their ineptitude.

Jeff P.

helentroy4
helentroy4

Maybe, just maybe, if directly after the aborted trial in which Pataky was cleared of abuse, the police would have stepped right in and arrested his ex-wife for false documents, false police reports, false testimony, etc.etc.

Well, maybe Pataky might have received real justice instead of having to seek it on the internet.

This is so commonplace it is obscene. Wife gets PFA and then figures out a way to make it look like the husband has violated it. Husband is dragged into court and then thrown into jail for six months... often on no evidence at all. Pataky was fortunate; the official phone records showed no such calls at all.

His wife should have been immediately arrested and then stand trial for her own crimes.

Dan
Dan

This is the New Times cover story? Talk about missing the point. Instead of writing about the message, they write about the messenger!As a citizen of Phoenix, I am more concerned with the what this detective was complaining about. Channel 5 recently ran a story that 50% of the murders in Phoenix are going unsolved! It sounds like the Phoenix homicide is a complete mess and instead of fixing it, they fire good officers who complain. The story even says he was a good detective who was dedicated to his cases. That's the type of cop I want working to protect my safety. Shame on the New Times for not covering these shocking crime lab issues, and instead writing a story that would obviously please their "buddies" in the Police Department.

Sven
Sven

The idea that Barnes was out for revenge is by far the dumbest fucking thing I have ever heard.

Obviously you are unaware that the only reason this whole thing has come about is because of the Phoenix Crime Lab's inability to do a decent job.

People who are dead shouldn't be dead, the Baseline Killer went and took more lives while the Crime Lab, run by that piece of shit Montgomery did absolutely nothing and failed to honor a hard working detective's request.

Chief Jack Harris and Mayor Phil Gordon better be sweating and getting nervous, there will be hell to pay!

 
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