Wessing said Child Protective Services had been notified and was involved in the matter. He also said the case will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for review.

I called Samantha Pearce, but she declined to comment. I was not able to talk with Joshua Pearce. Phone calls and e-mails to state Senator Russell Pearce on this particular subject have not been returned.

This is not Josh Pearce's first brush with the law. In 2006, he was arrested by the Mesa PD for a DUI while driving on a suspended license. He told police that he was a regular user of marijuana but that he no longer drank alcohol because of a previous DUI.

Fruit of the tree: State Senate President-elect Russell Pearce has so far declined to comment on allegations regarding his son Joshua.
Social Eye Media
Fruit of the tree: State Senate President-elect Russell Pearce has so far declined to comment on allegations regarding his son Joshua.
Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce

In the car with him were Samantha and their 5-day-old child Wyatt. Josh Pearce had been driving slow and swerving. During field-sobriety tests, officers noted signs of impairment. Pearce's eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred, according to the report. The odor of marijuana was on his breath.

At first, Pearce told police that he had last smoked pot two days earlier, but under further questioning, he admitted to regular use.

"He then told me that, 'I always wake and bake,'" reads a Mesa PD supplemental report by one of the officers on the scene. "I asked him what that meant, and he told me that when he wakes up in the morning and smokes marijuana. Joshua told me that it helps him relax and loosens up his muscles. He told me that he smoked marijuana at 10 this morning."

Pearce also told officers that he took Xanax for panic attacks. He later tested positive for THC, Oxycodone, and Oxymorphone.

His job was listed as "roofer." Court documents described his last known address as 1247 East Inca Street in Mesa, the same listed on state Senator Russell Pearce's campaign-finance reports with the Arizona Secretary of State.

Wessing said Josh Pearce now has a different Mesa address on file.

In 2007, the County Attorney's Office hit Josh Pearce with two felony counts of aggravated DUI. Pearce pleaded guilty to one count and received five years of probation.

His dad is no stranger to allegations of domestic abuse. In 2008, I revealed the existence of a marriage-dissolution petition filed by Russell Pearce's wife, LuAnne, in 1980, which alleged physical abuse at the hands of her husband ("Did State Representative Russell Pearce Ever Beat His Wife, LuAnne?" July 21).

It reads in part, "Further, the husband, RUSSELL KEITH PEARCE, is possessed of a violent temper, and has from time to time hit and shoved the wife, the last time being on February 3, [1980], when he grabbed the wife by the throat and threw her down."

The Pearces ultimately reconciled and remain married. When I asked her about it in 2008, LuAnne Pearce denied that her husband had ever abused or threatened her, and she said that she had never made the statements that were in the court document.

Also in 2008, I blogged about a 1974 police report that stated Pearce, then a young sheriff's deputy, busted down the door of his first wife's place. Karen and Russell were divorced the same year. No charges were ever filed in that incident ("Anger in Need of Management," August 13).

There's also Pearce's tenure as director of the Motor Vehicles Division, which ended in disgrace.

Though Pearce proudly lists heading the MVD on his Web site, he was fired in 1999 by then-Arizona Department of Transportation director (and fellow Republican) Mary Peters.

His firing came after an investigation revealed that Pearce and two underlings had tampered with a Tucson woman's driving record. Pearce, et al., fudged one of the Tucson woman's two DUI convictions, according to reports at the time.

To the suggestion that Pearce had been cleared, Peters told the Arizona Republic, "There's a big difference between being cleared and choosing not to file criminal charges."

One of Pearce's other sons, Justin Pearce, then 20, held a low-level job at the MVD and ended up getting busted for giving his friends fake licenses so they could buy beer.

Justin Pearce pleaded guilty and received probation for tampering with a public record.

Two of Pearce's sons have careers in law enforcement: Sean Pearce, with the MCSO, and Colten Pearce, with the Gilbert Police Department.

I would not condemn any one member of a family for the others' misdeeds. But that's not Pearce's policy.

He wants to deny American citizen children their 14th Amendment right to birthright citizenship because of the transgressions of their parents, who're in the country illegally.

Ditto his opposition to the DREAM Act, the proposal to allow children brought into this country when they were young to legalize their status if they go to college or serve in the military.

The rule of law, it seems, damns only those Pearce hates. When it comes to him and his own, a different standard applies — in his mind.

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