DPS Honchos' Ethics Are Questioned After Sports-Ticket Probe

By Ray Stern

published: October 25, 2012

The cops sat in clubhouse seats at Chase Field, not too far behind home plate, as guests of the Arizona Trucking Association.

It was early evening on September 8, 2011, and the Arizona Diamondbacks were playing the San Diego Padres. Pitcher Ian Kennedy was shooting for an impressive 19th win of the season.

Watching a baseball game from such great seats was just what Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hegarty needed.

That summer, the Highway Patrol chief at the Arizona Department of Public Safety was feeling a lot of heat. Morale was much worse than normal at the resource-strapped agency, and Hegarty was getting the blame. The troops wanted his head.

Getting wrapped up in a scandal over baseball tickets had to be the last thing Hegarty wanted.

Yet he knew that accepting free tickets from the trucking association could be considered unethical. The organization represents trucking and transportation companies regulated by the DPS. But Hegarty wouldn't have been concerned about getting in trouble over this game. After all, he and other DPS employees had accepted free tickets in the past.

Hegarty wasn't the only DPS honcho the ATA had invited to the game.

Captain Ken Hunter, the DPS' Southern Commercial Vehicle District commander from Tucson, also went. For him, the Thursday game coincided nicely with an overnight trip in Phoenix he'd planned so he could participate in a Taser International project the next morning.

DPS Captain Deston Coleman Jr. also got an ATA invite. So did Sergeant Jimmy Chavez, president of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association, the labor organization that represents troopers.

All four men worked within the DPS commercial vehicle enforcement unit. Treating them right helped keep the trucking group's wheels turning smoothly.

Chavez and Coleman later ended up unable to go, and Hegarty gave one of their tickets to DPS Sergeant Tim Mason.

It was an enjoyable game to watch for Arizona fans, as the Diamondbacks went on to win 4-1.

But for Hegarty and Mason, sitting one row down from ATA President Karen Rasmussen, the big moment of the night came about a half-hour into the contest, which started at 6:40 p.m.

A TV camera pans the crowd. For a brief moment, Hegarty and Mason appear on TV and also on Chase Field's giant video screen. They don't smile and wave, as fans normally do when this happens. Hegarty, wearing a red D-backs polo shirt, wears an embarrassed smirk, his brow furrowed. Mason's mouth hangs agape. Rasmussen can be made out sitting directly behind Hegarty.

Busted!

Somewhere among the many thousands of TV viewers, someone recognizes one or both men. And takes a still shot of the video.

A couple of weeks later, the picture is distributed widely among DPS staff. Hegarty becomes a laughingstock.

Plus, accepting gifts from an industry you regulate is a serious matter — at least when you get caught.

About a month after the game, Hegarty is called before DPS Deputy Director Dennis Young, who tells him an investigation is under way.

Hegarty reportedly tells Young he's "curious" to see how that plays out, since agency employees who accepted free tickets from the trucking association in the past included Director Robert Halliday.

Hegarty is out of the DPS by January.


Offering free game tickets — especially for prime seats — is a common way to curry favor with Arizona public officials and bureaucrats. Taking the tickets has gotten a lot of these officials in trouble — some more than others.

The Fiesta Bowl scandal was the worst case of gift-taking in the past few years, with 31 officials wined and dined in the hopes of influencing their votes.

Then there was the case of former state lawmaker and Tempe City Councilman Ben Arredondo, who resigned from his seat earlier this month after pleading guilty to federal felonies in a corruption-related case. He killed his career by accepting about $6,000 in free tickets that essentially were bribes from people he thought were land developers but really were FBI agents.

Arredondo was one of the officials who took game tickets from the Fiesta Bowl; he also helped the bowl obtain a $6.5 million subsidy from Tempe. But last December, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery decided not to press criminal charges against Arredondo or the other officials, saying the gift-taking law is too vague.

According to statements by Hegarty, DPS officials took expensive baseball tickets from the trucking association in 2010 and 2011, by which time it seems they must have heard about the Fiesta Bowl scandal. The law enforcement officials should have known better.

The probe of Hegarty revealed that the practice of DPS supervisors accepting baseball tickets from representatives of the industry they were charged with regulating had become routine. And it revealed apparent dishonesty in the ranks of DPS supervisors.

A 204-page investigative report depicts Hegarty, when pressed about the source of the tickets, as a double-talking back-stabber. Captain Hunter was shown to be less than truthful, as well.

The report also raises questions about Halliday's role in the gift-taking scandal.

Certainly, comparing stories told by Halliday and Hegarty in the report, it's evident one of these top cops must have lied.

Officially, Hegarty chose retirement over discipline after the probe concluded earlier this year and sustained the allegation of accepting free baseball tickets; his punishment called for him to receive two days off without pay.

Hegarty accused his friend of overseeing an unfair investigation, claiming Halliday's objectivity was in major doubt because the director's job also was "at stake" in the case.

The DPS was slow to release documents related to this case. A March request for the investigative report on Hegarty finally was made available to New Times in early October. Following that, Halliday would respond only through DPS spokesman Bart Graves, who in turn sent e-mails to New Times summarizing Halliday's responses. Some, though not all, of New Times' questions were answered.

Though the report details the interesting and tawdry details of how the DPS supervisors accepted baseball tickets from the Arizona Trucking Association and then tried to cover their trails, other aspects of the problem are worth exploring: just how much the trucking industry benefited from its close relationship with DPS higher-ups and whether road safety was affected.

The Fiesta Bowl and Arredondo scandals may have been bigger, but this one may have had more impact — literally.

Two years ago, Hegarty, with Halliday's approval, cut truckers a break by ending random stops of commercial vehicles by most DPS officers. Since that time, the DPS has added dozens more officers to its dedicated commercial-vehicle-enforcement unit, and the total number of inspections has increased. So it's difficult to determine the impact of the change.

It's possible, statistics show, that the change resulted in more commercial-vehicle accidents.

There's certainly no indication that the trucking association's habit of giving away pricey baseball tickets to DPS supervisors has made state highways safer.


Hegarty was one of several assistant directors, but he acted as second-in-command for his longtime buddy, Halliday.

He'd been promoted to the job of Highway Patrol chief in early 2010 by Halliday, not long after Governor Jan Brewer appointed Halliday director of the DPS. Halliday replaced Roger Vanderpool, who'd been the choice of former Governor Janet Napolitano.

The leadership styles of Hegarty and Halliday were considered caustic and heavy-handed. Halliday, a 35-year veteran of the force who had retired before returning as director, made waves even before his appointment was confirmed by the state Senate by announcing plans for a major shakeup of leadership staff. Both men were viewed largely by the 1,600-employee agency as poor decision-makers who were too rigid in dealing with subordinates.

In early 2011, an internal survey of DPS employees sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police showed that 95 percent believed a morale problem existed at the agency and that the agency wasn't headed in the right direction. Hegarty was the primary target of the disgruntled state troopers, the survey showed.

The survey spurred Halliday to put together a panel of officers and civilians to help with the problem. The committee's main recommendation was to dump Hegarty.

"The disruptive leadership and management performance of . . . Hegarty has consistently been responsible for stifling the performance of Executive Staff," the committee's report stated. "Reclassifying . . . Hegarty will immediately improve the Director's credibility and overall morale within DPS."

Fortunately for Hegarty, he and Halliday were close, and the boss didn't want to get rid of him. Despite the survey and panel recommendation, the biggest action Halliday had taken against Hegarty by the time of the September 8 baseball game was asking troopers to complete a survey about Hegarty that was worded to remind everyone of Hegarty's accomplishments and morale-building ideas. Halliday also noted in the survey that removing Hegarty as chief of the Highway Patrol "would be a very significant change" to DPS leadership.

But then Hegarty, with his very public ethical breach over the tickets, forced Halliday to do something.

After the investigation of Hegarty — or perhaps during it — the friendship between Hegarty and Halliday became strained. It's difficult for an outside observer to know who told the truth in the probe, but the report makes it clear that either Hegarty told some fibs or, as Hegarty claims, Halliday protected himself by failing to come clean about the practice of accepting tickets.

It could be a little of each.

It wasn't the first time Halliday was accused of stacking the deck against someone he was investigating. In a November 11, 2010, cover story ("Hot Mess at the DPS"), New Times detailed the case of a DPS pilot fired after a questionable investigation launched by Halliday into the pilot's rocky relationship with Halliday's daughter. Last year, the former officer, Geoff Jacobs, lost a federal wrongful-termination lawsuit against Halliday over the debacle.

Nor is this the first time Halliday has been accused of getting too cozy with the trucking industry.

Before his February 10, 2010, confirmation hearing before the state Senate, lawmakers got an anonymous letter expressing concern that Halliday was a longtime friend of Gary Fitzsimmons, safety director of Swift Trucking, a Phoenix-based transportation company.

"Mr. Halliday informed numerous individuals that Mr. Fitzsimmons had influence through Swift Transportation and the Arizona Trucking Association who were willing to endorse him through their influence with Governor Brewer," the letter stated. "If this is true, the commercial vehicle industry has gained significant, direct influence with the individual and the agency primarily responsible for their regulation and enforcement."

Asked about the letter by a senator, Halliday said his friendship with Fitzsimmons was no big deal and that there was nothing untoward about the trucking industry's lobbying for his appointment.

Halliday's a gruff Vietnam veteran who has held a wide variety of positions during his 35 years with the DPS. As New Times' 2010 article described, he was investigated — though never charged — in 2000 for an incident on a Payson golf course in which he shoved a homeowner who had cussed him.

Hegarty, according to a bio that's still published on the DPS website, is a former naval officer and University of Arizona graduate who has been with the state police agency for 18 years. Besides working in patrol, SWAT, administrative support, training, and commercial-vehicle enforcement, he also completed a fellowship in the nation's capital at the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

Knowledgeable about a range of subjects related to his job, he has written articles for various cop publications. In 2007, as a lieutenant, he wrote a lengthy piece on whether a highly debated freeway speed-camera system run by the state had reduced crashes on the Scottsdale portion of Loop 101. "It seems very possible" that crashes went down 14 percent because of the freeway cameras, Hegarty wrote, acknowledging that other factors could be responsible for the decrease.

An article he wrote for the Arizona Trucking Association's 2009-2010 Yearbook describes how the ATA and DPS partnered in an educational project intended to teach teens how to drive around big rigs. Contributions from the ATA helped fund the program, and it was one of many instances of a business relationship between the trucking group and the law enforcement agency.

And another reason, besides the overall enforcement of commercial vehicle laws, that DPS officials shouldn't have been sitting in box seats at a sporting event as guests of the ATA.

DPS policy prohibits employees from accepting "gifts, gratuities, or personal favors from vendors, contractors, or suppliers."

A law on the books in Arizona lists accepting a gift as one of the "prohibited acts" of state employees or officers — if the "valuable thing" or benefit presents "a substantial and improper influence" on the gift-taker's duties. The vagueness of the law (ARS 38-504(C)) is one reason Montgomery found it difficult to bring criminal cases against lawmakers in the Fiesta Bowl probe.

But, crime or not, such gift-taking raises questions about the ethics of public officials.


The DPS probe into the baseball tickets didn't go well for Hegarty. He sensed that would be the case during his October 3, 2011, interview with Deputy Director Dennis Young.

By then, the humorous picture of him and Mason sitting in the ATA seats at Chase Field had made the rounds at the DPS. Halliday had seen it, of course, and heard the rumors that the seats were provided by the trucking group. In mid-September, he asked Hegarty about the source of the tickets, and records show he was satisfied when Hegarty said he'd purchased them himself.

But on September 30, Major Jack Lane, who worked under Hegarty, fired off a heated memo to Halliday and Young accusing Hegarty, Hunter, and Mason of "potential criminal and/or ethical misconduct" based on their taking of gifts. Lane had spoken with another officer about the "rumor" that the DPS officials in the picture were sitting in ATA box seats, and the officer told him he'd talked to Jimmy Chavez, who had been invited to the game but didn't go. Lane said Chavez "confirmed" to the officer that the ATA paid for the tickets.

Lane then "understood the seriousness of these allegations," he wrote. "If the tickets were in fact 'gifted' to these employees then there are criminal violations. If they were paid for 'after the fact,' then there is less potential of criminal violations, [but] there are ethical and/or conflict of interest issues that need to be addressed."

Lane further noted that nearly everyone at the DPS seemed to know about Hegarty's apparent bad ethics, "adding to the already tense situation concerning leadership."

Failing to investigate and "properly" address the problem could damage the agency's reputation, he argued.

A few days later, Hegarty was called to Young's office and asked who paid for the September 8 tickets. Hegarty told him it was the ATA but that he "didn't see an issue" with taking them, Young's report states.

Seeing how things were going, Hegarty apparently decided to try to drag others down with him.

Director Halliday "has used tickets supplied by the ATA and has himself attended games," Young says Hegarty told him.

Hegarty said other DPS employees had accepted free ATA tickets. According to Young, Hegarty said the director of the Arizona Department of Transportation, former state lawmaker John Halikowski, took the freebies, too. Halikowski, through a spokesman, denied ever accepting tickets from the trucking industry or going to a baseball game with an industry representative.

Hegarty, in his interview with New Times, says he never alleged anything about Halikowski. He says Deputy Director Young's report is not accurate on the point, and that he's considering suing for defamation because of it.

"That just floors me, that he would attribute that to me," Hegarty says.

Young didn't return calls for this article.

Following the initial probe and Hegarty's criticism of Halliday, the director demoted Hegarty to captain and kicked him out of his job as Highway Patrol chief.

Halliday then turned over the investigation to the Phoenix Police Department to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, and Phoenix Internal Affairs Detective Eric Pagone, as well as other Phoenix IA investigators, began taking a look at the case in early November.

Pagone interviewed Hegarty on November 14 and 15, and Hegarty claimed Dennis Young never asked him who paid for the tickets and that he didn't say the ATA paid for them.

Hegarty says he was asked who "provided" the tickets and that he'd told Young it was Karen Rasmussen, president of the ATA.

But, Hegarty told the Phoenix detective, the tickets weren't owned by the ATA but by Rasmussen personally or, perhaps, by another ATA member. He said he'd been to "about" six games in 2011 using tickets he'd purchased from Rasmussen.

Hegarty presented to investigators a cashed check he'd written for $800 to Rasmussen in May 2011, saying it was to pay for baseball tickets he'd bought from her. Nothing's written in the memo field of the check, making it impossible to know what the check was for.

It may have no bearing, though: Hegarty admits in the report and in his interview with New Times that he accepted free tickets from Rasmussen in 2010. The investigation showed he went to at least one game with Rasmussen and Halliday in 2009.

The total number of games attended by all DPS officials over the years isn't known; the investigation concerned the September 8 incident.

Before the game in question, Hegarty told the detective that Rasmussen had called him and mentioned she had tickets available.

Hegarty maintained that he paid Rasmussen $300 for the four tickets at the season-ticket-holder price of $75 each — but that he didn't pay her right away.

He'd had the check in his wallet that day but forgot to give it to her, he said.

The check, dated September 8, cleared the bank on October 5, the investigation showed, two days after Hegarty was interviewed by Young.

It was deposited into ATA's checking account — not Rasmussen's.


When interviewed by Detective Pagone in mid-November, Captain Ken Hunter said he was "unaware" that the tickets — which he estimated to be worth $100 to $120 — had come from the ATA or Rasmussen. He said he only found out later, after talking to Hegarty on October 31, that his companion at the game claimed he'd bought the tickets from Rasmussen.

Hunter said it was the first time he'd been to a D-backs game, and Hegarty had "inferred" that going to the game was a "team-building" experience that wasn't optional, he told Pagone.

Hunter admitted that the ATA's board of directors "have a vested interest in the trucking industry" and that he would "not feel comfortable accepting tickets from the ATA."

Yet he also admitted he'd heard rumors that DPS officials routinely accepted free tickets from the ATA.

Hunter submitted a written statement to investigators saying he "was not told where the tickets came from, nor did I ask."

A week later, e-mails pulled from the DPS supervisors' work accounts showed Hunter and Hegarty knew exactly where the tickets came from.

"ATA has four club box tickets for this game and would like to invite you to be our guests," Rasmussen told Hegarty, Hunter, Chavez, and Coleman in a September 1 e-mail at 10:13 a.m. "Let me know if you're interested. (however, only one parking pass)"

About 90 minutes later, Hegarty was the first to get back to her.

"I am," he wrote. "I'll take the parking pass, they can walk."

Rasmussen, whom Hegarty told investigators was his friend, jokingly replied to all four that Hegarty could "charge them for a ride & impose a surcharge on the parking. Just a thought."

Coleman shot back, "Karen he does not need any help with this. We may have to rent seats in his vehicle to get there."

Rasmussen replied to the group, teasing Hunter that he hadn't "weighed in on this important discussion . . . but I'm probably interrupting something important that you're doing."

Hunter didn't reply, but he later admitted to Pagone that he'd seen the e-mail. He and Hegarty had to backtrack in their statements to the investigator, saying their earlier statements had been miscommunication, not dishonesty.

A letter of reprimand went into Hunter's permanent file.

Included in the report was a September 6 e-mail discussion between Chavez and Rasmussen that helps represent the routine nature of these ticket offers. When Chavez informs Rasmussen that he can't make the September 8 game as planned, she gets back to him a few hours later: "Bummer. I have an extra ticket for the afternoon game on Sept. 21. Think you can get off work to go?

Chavez doesn't question who would pay for the ticket. He simply tells her he'll be in St. Louis for the National Trooper's Coalition meeting that week.

A spokesman for Chavez at the Arizona Highway Patrol Association said Chavez would make a statement about his involvement, but he never got back to New Times.

Rasmussen also was contacted by Phoenix investigators, who wrote in their report that she was "reluctant" to consent to an interview, worried that whatever she said would be "misrepresented" and "blown out of proportion" in the media.

However, she backed up Hegarty's story that he'd "reimbursed" her for the tickets and that the seats weren't owned by the ATA but by an ATA member. Despite what she'd said in the e-mail, Rasmussen maintained, the DPS officials were not "guests."

It stands to reason that her e-mail is more believable than her statements to the investigator, because she hadn't known there would be any trouble when she sent it.

In the "brief" phone conversation with Pagone, Rasmussen said she didn't remember providing any free tickets to DPS employees in 2008 or 2009. New Times called her for comment, but she didn't call back.

As with those of others involved, some of Director Halliday's answers to Phoenix officers don't ring true. He appears to have been treated with special consideration by the PPD. His interview fits on one page of the 204-page report, and there is no evidence in the report that his comments were challenged.

Halliday remembered going to only two Diamondbacks games with Rasmussen, with Hegarty also attending. The first was in 2009, during the break in his service between retiring and becoming director. As a private citizen at the time, it didn't matter whether he was gifted the ticket.

The second time he went was after becoming director, either in the "early 2010" or "early 2011" season, he said. Either way, Halliday says he was "under the impression" that Hegarty had purchased the tickets from Rasmussen.

He said he didn't believe he violated any policy.

Taking Halliday at his word that he attended only the one game as director, it still doesn't fit that he would assume Hegarty had bought the tickets from Rasmussen without at least asking Hegarty to verify that assumption. After all, Halliday should have known that if he had guessed wrong and the ATA had paid for the tickets, he could get disciplined for a policy violation.

On January 5, Hegarty, in his final written response to the allegations against him, implied that Halliday went to more than just that one game with the ATA as director. He says it can't be true that Halliday believed Hegarty had bought or owned the tickets.

"This is not truthful, he clearly understood the tickets were owned by Karen Rasmussen, and on at least one occasion, physically accepted the ticket from Karen outside the stadium," Hegarty wrote.

Hegarty cried that his old friend also lied about the circumstances of Hegarty's demotion.

Halliday was quoted in the Arizona Republic after the October 2011 demotion as saying that the FOP survey was just one factor in Hegarty's demotion — and that "there were some other people outside the agency that were pretty unhappy with him in state government."

Halliday didn't elaborate, but it seems clear that the baseball-game incident had something to do with the demotion, based on the timing. Halliday denies that, though.

Hegarty, meanwhile, claims that Halliday told him on October 28 that the "sole reason" for his demotion was his attendance at the baseball game. After his meeting that day with Halliday, Hegarty says, the director called "several department employees and non-employees," telling them Hegarty was the subject of a criminal investigation and that was the reason for the demotion.

It's a he said/he said story — except not a typical one in that both "hes" were among the highest-ranking cops in the state.


In January 2011, Highway Patrol chief Jack Hegarty prepared a draft report assessing the effectiveness of the February 2010 order prohibiting state troopers (except the fraction that work in the commercial-vehicle bureau) from making random stops and inspections of commercial vehicles. No final version ever was completed.

Hegarty related in the report the concern of some officers that they were losing an enforcement "tool" because of the order, and he mentioned a February 2010 article in the Republic critical of the policy change. But he added that the change was "relatively insignificant."

Using 11 months of data, from February to December 2010, Hegarty wrote that overall inspections had increased since the change for various reasons but that slightly fewer inspected trucks had been taken out of service because of problems. The drop was "unexpected," according to Hegarty, but the DPS' rate of taking unsafe trucks off the road was still higher than the national average.

While inspections were up, fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2010 went down, Hegarty wrote. He quickly added that other factors could be involved besides the increase in inspections. But the crashes result clearly was what he was hoping for, and he concluded that the new policy prohibiting random stops "did not negatively impact" inspections or the percentage of trucks ordered out of service by the DPS. He made another reference to the fact that "fatal crashes" decreased during the new policy period.

But a different picture emerges when looking at injury and property-damage crashes in 2010, and at all three categories of crashes in 2011.

It turns out that crashes actually were up.

Statistics provided by the DPS show that commercial-vehicle crashes of all types — fatal, injury, and property damage — declined from 2006 to 2009.

Then, in 2010, while fatal crashes went down from 39 in 2009 to 32 in 2010, fatals jumped to 42 last year.

Injury and property-damage crashes went up in 2010 and 2011. Crashes so far this year closely mimic the 2011 numbers.

Crashes for all vehicles went up in 2010 and 2011, state figures show, which could be a result of more vehicles on the road because the state's economy improved.

But the fact remains that when the policy went into effect, critics predicted less enforcement would mean more crashes.

True, inspections are up— but that's mainly because federal funding allowed the DPS to transfer more officers into the commercial-vehicle bureau, beefing up the bureau's force of dedicated commercial-vehicle inspectors from 511 in 2009 to 605 the following year.

Hegarty tells New Times he believed the decision to end most random stops would make the commercial-vehicle inspection process more efficient overall — and that the trucking association opposed the move.

He says truckers prefer to be pulled over for no reason because a clean inspection is good for their records. However, Hegarty also says that two out of three truck inspections reveal violations, making his argument that truckers would want random inspections hard to believe.

Others make the more likely argument that the trucking industry welcomed the change. The important question here, of course, is whether the industry's favors to DPS management contributed to the policy change.

Gary Doyle, a Phoenix lawyer who represents truckers and other transportation interests, says he'd heard industry representatives complaining about the random stops before the prohibition.

"The problem with purely random stops is that they're extremely inefficient," Doyle says. "They'd pull someone over and wouldn't find a violation."

Well, not a major violation, he says. Once an officer takes the time to pull over a vehicle, he or she usually manages to find something wrong, either in the driver's logbook or on the vehicle itself, he says.

Doyle says he doesn't believe the change had any effect on road safety, mainly because Arizona DPS officers earn their reputation as some of the toughest in the country on truckers committing violations.

But Shaun Kildare, research director for the Washington-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, says Arizonans should be concerned about the change.

Most states allow troopers to conduct random stops, which the institute sees as important to road safety, Kildare says. Although the average motorist might recoil at the thought of a random, suspicion-less stop, Kildare says, the belief by experts is that stopping commercial vehicles is no different from having a health inspector conduct a surprise visit at a restaurant.

Without random stops, trucks and other commercial vehicles are directed to regular highway inspection sites. Though most operators are law-abiding, those "prone to disobey" the rules could take advantage of the new policy by steering clear of the sites.

"It's a little bit harder to avoid a stop if you don't know where it's going to occur," Kildare says.

As Kildare describes it, good truckers might think the new policy is good because they face fewer potential hassles.

But bad truckers think it's great.


Robert Halliday, through his spokesman, says it's more important than ever for law enforcement to work with the commercial-trucking industry, because more trucks are on the road than ever. He vows to continue an "ongoing dialogue" with the industry.

That's understandable. It's when the DPS and the trucking industry exchange more than dialogue that problems begin — something Halliday seems to have learned only recently, following the Hegarty incident.

Halliday "disagrees" with Hegarty's statements in the 204-page report, his spokesman writes on behalf of the DPS boss.

Though the DPS typically doesn't comment on internal investigations, Halliday says he's making an exception in this case:

As he told Phoenix police, he maintains that he had "no idea" the tickets for the baseball game he attended as DPS director came from the ATA.

"Had he known that, he would have not attended," the spokesman says.

Sounds like the ATA may be lonely at D-backs games next season without Halliday and his crew.