By Paul Rubin
Word comes from the East Valley Tribune in this morning's edition about a mysterious executive session Monday of the Gilbert Town Council.
Murder defendant Doug Grant
The apparent topic: Troubling matters raised in our recent two-part series on the bizarre Doug Grant murder case, which is scheduled to go to trial early next month.
According to the story by reporter Blake Herzog, "the posted agenda item said the subject of the meeting was to be `discussion or consultation for legal advice with the Town Attorneys regarding State v. Grant and police procedures.'"
Doug Grant is charged with first-degree murder in Faylene's death by drowning in September 2001 at the couple's home in Gilbert. The mother of four had an excessive amount of the sleep drug Ambien in her system when she died at a Mesa hospital several hours after Doug Grant pulled her unconscious from a bathtub.
Seven members of the late Faylene Eaves Grant's family sought to sit in at the closed-door meeting, but were denied entrance because, under Arizona law, executive sessions are restricted to council members, staffers, and attorneys who work for the jurisdiction.
One of Faylene's family members questioned the timing of the executive session, coming on the cusp of the long-awaited Maricopa County Superior Court trial in downtown Phoenix.
Brother-in-law Shan Stratton noted that Gilbert police sergeant Sy Ray, whose dubious investigative "techniques" were a subject of scrutiny in the New Times stories, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by his department. Stop the presses!
In fact, the smooth-talking cop won awards and a promotion after "solving" the Grant murder.
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What the Gilbert Town Council hoped to gain by holding an executive session is uncertain.
We'd take a wild stab that Chief Tim Dorn reassured the elected officials that everything Sergeant Ray did was on the up and up, and that the New Times articles were "biased" in Doug Grant's favor.
We would suggest that readers make up their own minds, or better yet, attend the trial (which, for the record, will be open to the public) in the courtroom of Judge Margaret Mahoney.
Should be a doozy, and we'll try to sit in as much as our schedule permits.