On the morning of Wednesday, March 26--just as the first copies of the March 27 issue of New Times were hitting the streets--Kim Boyden received a voice mail message from a representative with the City of Scottsdale's Victim Assistance Program.
Boyden, whose photo was on the cover of last week's issue, was told that city prosecutors had finally decided to press charges against Michael Logan, the man whom Boyden alleges raped and brutally assaulted her in August.
But the grand jury that heard evidence against Logan did not indict him. Boyden has tried for months to convince the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to take her case before a second grand jury. She says that the first grand jury did not learn the full extent of her injuries, nor was it privy to her full testimony, which included her claim that Logan punched her in the face.
After the county attorney refused to pursue charges of sexual assault and aggravated assault--penalties that can carry multiple-year prison sentences--Boyden took her case to Scottsdale prosecutors.
If convicted of assault in city court, the maximum sentence Logan could receive is six months in jail.
Scottsdale city prosecutor Ann Garriott says misdemeanor assault charges were filed against Logan March 25. Logan will receive a summons by mail, and if repeated attempts to contact him fail, a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest.
Boyden--who already has agreed to speak at a meeting of the Center Against Sexual Assault later this month--told city officials she is not happy with that arrangement.
"I said, 'If you guys don't arrest him, he will run,'" Boyden says.
That, she was told, is not how the system works.
He Shoots, He Scores
On the (basketball) court, former Phoenix Suns forward Jerrod Mustaf couldn't shoot to save his life. But off the court, according to (superior) court records, he's a perfect five for five.
That's how many children Mustaf has fathered--by five different women--in recent years.
That doesn't count Althea Hayes, who was pregnant with Mustaf's child in 1994 when his cousin, LaVonnie Wooten, shot and killed her. Hit man Wooten was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life term. Mustaf remains a suspect in that case.
Last week, a Maricopa County court commissioner ordered Mustaf to pay Valley resident La Shea Evans monthly child-support payments of $4,000. Laboratory tests confirm that the baby girl Evans bore in August 1994 is Mustaf's. That would have been about three months after Hayes' murder and shortly before the Suns reportedly paid Mustaf $2.5 million not to be part of their team.
Records show that a process server tracked down the 27-year-old Mustaf at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, last February 12. (Mustaf has filed for financial relief under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws.) But Mustaf chose not to appear in Phoenix for his child-support hearing, nor did he hire an attorney to represent him.
Papers filed by Evans' attorney, Bill Spence, indicate that Mustaf--who reportedly had been playing ball in Europe--"earns" about $141,600 monthly; Evans earns $739 monthly.
They Put the Exec in Execute
On January 19, the Arizona Republic's "reader advocate" (editorial excuse-maker) Richard De Uriarte described employee layoffs at the paper: "For most of us, the past week brought shock, fear, uncertainty, sadness and relief, stirred together intermingled like nothing we have ever known."
He wrote that the stress employees endured as they waited to learn of their fate was "nothing we ever wanted to know. Nothing we'll soon forget."
Here's something else those jettisoned workers--who lost jobs with average salaries and benefits totaling $53,000--won't soon forget.
That's the base salary and bonus received by Louis A. "Chip" Weil III for toiling last year as president and chief executive officer of Central Newspapers Incorporated, which owns Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., which publishes the Republic.
But wait, the corporation's annual report offers many more interesting facts. Weil, who now is chairman of the board, also was awarded $505,750 in restricted stock cash awards last year. Half of this will vest only if Weil steers CNI to unspecified income targets over the next five years.
Weil also received 80,000 CNI stock options that have a projected value in 10 years of $1.8 million to $4.7 million. Oh, and don't forget the incidental compensation that totaled $68,424 plus assorted perks estimated at another $50,000.
PNI's top dog, publisher and CEO John Oppedahl, also had a pretty good year. Oppedahl pulled down $421,450 in base salary and bonuses plus $252,875 in restricted cash stock awards. He also was awarded 30,000 stock options with a projected worth in 10 years of between $690,000 and $1.7 million. He got $27,885 in miscellaneous compensation.
Approximate value of the financial package (not including stock options) to Weil and Oppedahl last year: $2 million.
Total amount spent on severance package for 60 terminated employees: $3.4 million.
Thanks to the downsizing, Weil and Oppedahl are certain to reap even bigger bonuses next year. To do so, they must please three very interesting people: CNI board members Richard Snell, chairman of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, which owns the state's largest utility, Arizona Public Service Company; William A. Franke, chairman of America West Airlines; and former vice president Dan Quayle, who owns 61,000 shares of CNI stock and whose uncle, 82-year-old Eugene S. Pulliam, is president of Phoenix Newspapers and publisher of the Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star.
Snell, Franke and Quayle--a trio who on occasion have expressed contempt for the media--make up Central Newspapers' executive compensation committee.
Don't expect any jaw-dropping stories about APS or America West. And get used to seeing Quayle's sappy missives on the Republic's op-ed page.
Witness for the Defense
Governor J. Fife Symington III has a well-earned reputation of taking care of his friends, especially if they might take the stand during his criminal trial, which is to begin May 13.
Consider the case of James Cockerham, who once was chief financial officer of the governor's development firm, the Symington Company, which littered the Valley with office failures and left creditors holding more than $100 million in worthless loans.
Cockerham has been subpoenaed by one of those creditors to give a deposition in the governor's civil trial, which is scheduled to begin later this summer in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A consortium of union pension funds wants to block the governor's efforts to erase a $12 million debt. The pension funds claim that the Fifester lied on his personal financial disclosure statements.
The consortium wants to grill Cockerham about the values of some of Symington's development projects.
Symington's bankruptcy attorney, Robert Shull, has asked the court to delay depositions of Cockerham and others until after Symington's criminal trial. Shull says press coverage of the depositions could "taint" a jury.
Meanwhile, Cockerham isn't beating the pavement looking for a job in the private sector. As a Friend of Fife, he is entitled to a government job, in the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.
Let's hope the budget fares better under his guidance than the Symington Company fared.
A Comic-Book Hero
Metropolis has The Man of Steel. Gotham City has The Caped Crusader. Phoenix has yours truly. And now the East Valley has The Catalyst.
Thomson Newspapers bought the East Valley's Tribune Newspapers late last year, and while the papers still look pretty much the same, The Flash hears changes are in store.
The Catalyst is at work. Little is known about this enigmatic do-gooder, a man of British origin who has an office at the Mesa Tribune and a reputedly sharp tongue. The Catalyst is believed to be a consultant hired to Thomsonize newly acquired properties.
The Catalyst has reporters quaking, and has been heard referring to features editor Liz Merritt as "Trixie."
His advice, according to one of his catyl: Be more like the New York Post.
Actually, Thomson may yearn to be more like New Times, what with the imminent launch of a weekly "alternative" arts and entertainment tabloid, tentatively christened Get Out.
With a name like that, perhaps Thomson is trying to send a message to the Arizona Republic and its East Valley edition. Then again, maybe Thomson's message is directed at Echo magazine.
An Oscar for the Lady
Oscar Fuchslocher went home last week. Not to his native Chile--which he no longer considers home--but to his American wife, Jennifer, and their central Phoenix bungalow.
Fuchslocher fell prey to a law passed last September that made all U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service decisions final ("Closed Door Policy," January 9). When he tried to appeal the INS' decision to deport him, a district court judge threw his case out. Fuchslocher was sent to the INS detention center in Florence last October, where he remained until last week.
In late February, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, and sent the case back to district court.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Strand heard Fuchslocher's case in Phoenix, and released him on his own recognizance, pending the final outcome of the case.
Now Fuchslocher's case goes back to INS for further consideration. Stay tuned.
Feed The Flash: voice, 229-8486; fax, 340-8806; online, email@example.com
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