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Best Politician Phoenix 2013 - Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery

Readers' Choice: Kyrsten Sinema

The "best" politicians are those who have mastered the fine art of telling competing interests what they want to hear. Outwardly, these charlatans appear sincere, forthcoming, practical, while in reality, they are as trustworthy as Mephistopheles.

Locally, when it comes to political deception, it doesn't get much better than Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. A Republican, he ran to the hard right in 2010, portraying himself as a tough guy on immigration, with the political scene still roiling from the battle over Senate Bill 1070, which Monty supported. He won and went on to campaign virtually unopposed in 2012. Meanwhile, Montgomery sensed a shift away from the truculent nativism he had exploited previously, and began a sidestep to the middle.

To those who want immigration reform, he now poses as a relative moderate, a Sand Land GOPer who can listen to reason. But when he's at right-wing events, he talks border security and little else. Who's the real Monty? By their fruits ye shall know them, and Monty's peach is rotten and smelly. He continues the nativist policies of his disbarred, disgraced predecessor Andy Thomas, while claiming he's only following the law. And some overly credulous moderates still believe him! That's what we call an impressive pol, even if the guy doesn't cast a shadow in the sun.

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Press Release: Center for Prosecutor Integrity Calls on Prosecutors to Root out Misconduct After AZ Report of Widespread Unethical PracticesPosted on November 6, 2013 by Phil Locke 

WASHINGTON / November  6, 2013 – Following revelations that 22% of death sentence cases in Arizona involve judicial findings of impropriety, the Center forProsecutor Integrity is calling on prosecutors nationwide to take a proactive approach to hold unethical prosecutors accountable and restore public confidence in the criminal justice system.

The finding of widespread prosecutor misbehavior is based on a review of all death sentence convictions in Arizona in the past decade. These sentences are routinely seen by the state Supreme Court. Since 2002, there have been 82 death sentence cases reviewed by the state high court. In 18 of the cases – 22% of the total — the Supreme Court made a finding of impropriety.

Examples of unethical practice include presenting false testimony, resorting to emotional appeals in closing arguments, referring to mitigating evidence as “excuses,” and removing a jacket worn by a victim from a plastic evidence bag for the jury’s “smelling pleasure.”

The cases were assembled in an online database as part of a four-part investigative report by Michael Kiefer of the Arizona Republic newspaper:

The Arizona study is important because previous analyses of prosecutorial misconduct focused on cases that were pre-selected based on defense counsel’s allegation of misconduct or a judicial determination of a wrongful conviction. The Arizona findings likely underestimate the true extent of wrong-doing because the most egregious cases of misconduct triggered a mistrial or led to a last-minute plea deal not carrying a death sentence.

“In the past, some prosecutors have insisted that unethical conduct is so rare that it doesn’t even deserve attention,” notes CPI spokesperson Sheryl Hutter. “But when a high court concludes more than one in five cases involve impropriety, taxpayers should be demanding accountability and lawmakers should be convening hearings.”

The CPI report, An Epidemic of Prosecutor Misconduct, concludes unethical conduct has become widespread throughout the country: