Chris Simcox Worked for iMemories, Duties Didn't Include Viewing Kid Pics, Says Company, Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey Recently Company's Board Chair (w/Update)
Chris Simcox was an "hourly employee" at iMemories, what he did there is not yet known
Please see the update given at the end of this post.
So what was former minuteman leader Chris Simcox doing for a living prior to being arrested June 19 for alleged child molestation?
He was working at iMemories, a company in Scottsdale that converts home movies and photos into digital files, which the owner can access online and have transferred to DVDs produced by iMemories.
(Note: iMemories was incorporated in Delaware in 2008, likely for tax purposes. One company press release states that iMemories was founded in 2006.)
The iMemories website bills itself as a "service that stores and streams your personal videos and photos to any screen," allowing clients to preserve "treasured family videos and photos in one convenient and safe location."
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"Treasured family videos" naturally would include images of children. Considering that Simcox stands accused of improper conduct with three girls under the age of ten, one of them his daughter, his employment with iMemories raises a red flag. Not unlike Simcox's one-time employment as a kindergarten teacher in California.
What did Simcox do for iMemories, and how long did he do it for?
That remains a mystery.
Kristen Beckman, Vice President of Human Resources for iMemories, emailed me after my initial inquiries with the company, informing me that Simcox worked at iMemories as an "hourly employee," but was terminated June 5.
"His responsibilities did not involve the review or viewing of customer assets," she wrote, presumably referring to the home movies and stills customers give to iMemories for digital conversion.
Beckman has yet to respond to subsequent inquiries from me, seeking Simcox's job title and an explanation of his responsibilities.
"iMemories was not aware of any former or current allegations against Chris Simcox until last week," Beckman also stated.
Does iMemories run background checks on new hires? Did it do one on Simcox?
Treasurer Ducey was chair of iMemories as recently as the end of October 2012
click on screenshot for larger image
Once again, Beckman has yet to respond, though her one email to me offered the following vague statement:
"iMemories currently employs over 100 individuals and values the trust our customers provide us in preserving their most precious moments. The company has a very well-defined policy for the treatment and security of all customer assets."
Not that iMemories would need a background check to learn of Simcox's checkered past.
Most of that can be found via Google, such as his 2004 firearms conviction for carrying a semi-automatic handgun onto a national park, and giving a "false or fictitious report" to a federal park ranger.
Then there were the allegations of domestic violence made by his most recent ex-wife Alena in 2010 and the order of protection she took out on him. Local media covered the story at the time.
At least since 2005, information has been available via the Internet regarding accusations of molestation made by Simcox's 14 year-old daughter, the child of Simcox and his first ex-wife.
Ditto his second ex-wife's accusations of mental instability and domestic violence.
And how about this for a curve-ball?
From 2008 to at least October 25, 2012, Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey was the chairman of the company's board of directors. A press release issued by the company in 2008 calls Ducey "a lead investor" in iMemories.
In the same email mentioned above, Beckman responded to questions about Ducey and whether or not he knew that Simcox was employed at the company.
"There has also been an inquiry about our past chairman of our board of directors, who stepped down from that responsibility in 2012," Beckman wrote. "As with most companies, our board members focus on the broad strategic direction of the company and are not involved in daily operations nor personnel decisions regarding hourly employees."
Beckman has not replied to phone and email inquiries asking when Ducey stepped down and if he has remained an investor in iMemories.
I had the same questions for Kevin Donnellan, director of communications for Ducey at the Arizona Treasurer's Office. Donnellan's response, also via email, mirrored Beckman's, using some of the same wording.
"Doug Ducey stepped down as iMemories chairman of the board in 2012," Donnellan explained. "As with most companies, board members focus on the broad strategic direction of the company and are not involved in daily operations nor personnel decisions. All other inquiries into this matter should be directed to iMemories."
Donnellan also did not reply to follow-up questions.
Many see Ducey as a strong contender for the 2014 GOP primary nod for governor. A recent name-recognition survey commissioned by a supporter of state Senator Steve Pierce, found that 37 percent of respondents found Ducey's name somewhat or very familiar.
Ducey was third in name recognition behind Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, with 44 percent, and Pierce, who scored 40 percent, according to a recent item in the Arizona Republic.
A "Draft Doug Ducey" PAC registered with the Secretary of State's Office in May, and has its own website at draftdougducey.com. The group is reportedly financed by car dealer and big-time Arizona GOP money-man Jim Click.
Before he became state Treasurer, and prior to his involvement with iMemories, Ducey was CEO of the popular ice-cream purveyor Cold Stone Creamery.
UPDATE JUNE 26: Tuesday, Simcox was hit with a supervening indictment by a grand jury, saddling him with a total of six counts: two for the molestation of a child, a class 2 felony; three for sexual conduct with a minor, a class 2 felony; and one for furnishing obscene or harmful items to children, a class four felony.
The class 2 felonies are categorized as dangerous crimes against children, meaning that, hypothetically, at least, Simcox could face life in prison for just one of them, if found guilty.
Should a life sentence not be imposed after a guilty verdict, the law calls for consecutive sentencing, meaning the sentences would run back-to-back. The sentence for one count could be anywhere from 13 to 27 years.
The allegations in the probable cause statement cited three children under the age of ten, one being Simcox's daughter.
Only two victims are listed now for the six counts. A third victim, whose incident apparently did not involve touching, is no longer cited.
The MCSO's jail information line says his next court appearance is his arraignment, scheduled for July 3, but I have not yet confirmed this with the court, which has different dates listed on its docket.
Simcox's charges are nonbondable. He is currently being housed in Lower Buckeye Jail.
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