The Problem With Polygamy
The view from within: Your writer John Dougherty outdid himself this time. "Cover-up" in your October 3rd issue is based upon a bogus document purported to be an internal investigative document from this office. Indeed, the Arizona Department of Public Safety is now conducting a criminal investigation as to the source of the fraud.
Dougherty was informed that the document was fraudulent before you printed his article, but he didn't care about the truth. He also cites extensively from an alleged affidavit of an individual who has never been in contact with this office and from a letter, purportedly from that same individual, which was never received by this office.
Unfortunately, this deals with a very serious matter. The Office of the Attorney General is well aware of allegations that young women not of legal age are being sexually abused within the context of illegal marriages in Colorado City, Arizona, and a Utah border city. Indeed, the Attorney General herself traveled with a team of investigators and prosecutors to the State of Utah to meet with the Utah Attorney General to discuss the possibility that young women are being abused in both Arizona and Utah. This office and its counterpart in Utah regularly exchange information relative to these allegations in an effort to identify the perpetrators and to bring appropriate charges.
We can handle being criticized; we can handle being yelled at by reporters; we can handle a lot of adversity. What we can't handle, and what your readers should not tolerate, is your paper knowingly publicizing fraudulent information as the truth.
For the record, please inform Mr. Dougherty that before his next article (although forewarning him with the truth doesn't seem to get in his way) that Janet was 7 years old and not in Dallas when JFK was shot; she has never been to Loch Ness, Scotland; she doesn't know where Capone's vault is located; and she grew up in Albuquerque, not Roswell, New Mexico.
Dennis K. Burke
Chief Deputy Arizona Attorney General
Editor's note: As he does again here, Dennis Burke confirmed to John Dougherty prior to publication the memo's details regarding rape, incest, child abuse, welfare fraud and weapons stockpiling in Colorado City. Elected officials also confirmed that, despite their urging, the attorney general has been reluctant to take action, another issue raised in the memo. To date, no information has come to light that the memo did not come from within the Attorney General's Office.
Spreading the blame around: I read your article. Chilling. As you have demonstrated in the past, you write without fear. These people are not nice at all when it comes to their reactions to "outsider" opinions.
As bad as the situation up there is, pinning this on Janet Napolitano is only half true. You could just as easily besmirch the Utah governor or the feds for not breaking up an international child-trading ring, as you allege, not to mention the weapons violations. It would only be a good thing for the FBI/ATF crews to dust off their sniper rifles and go back into the spotlight.
Great article. Keep in mind that if Napolitano falls too far out of favor because of it, though, Arizona will be saddled with Matt Salmon, an LDS member, I believe. Law of unintended consequences.
Suspicious circumstances: Is it not a coincidence that the Arizona Republic runs an article based on an "anonymous" report one day before your "Cover-up" story? I think not.
The AG's office is not to be trusted -- it's called "CYA" for Napolitano, who by all accounts would not investigate these crimes because, as Jane Hull says, "That brought down Governor Pyle." When he rounded up the polygamists, that ended his career.
In the last two years of "investigations," she has been running for governor! Napolitano is not about to ruin her political career by going after child molesters. Let the next AG do it, if he has the guts.
Political motivations: I read with interest your cover story. Do you really think the readers believe you care about women and children being abused, when it is so clear you wanted to slam our AG? The unflattering picture of Ms. Napolitano was uncalled for.
One more question. How much did the Republican Party pay you for this article and the timing of it? This is the last New Times I will bother to read.
Bonita L. Swan
Armed but not dangerous: My thanks for attending the "media" shoot ("Gun Nut," Spiked, October 3). I wasn't there, but after reading your article, I'm glad that you were. I hope that this is only the beginning of your return to shooting on a regular basis. It's fun, isn't it?
The real story: I would like to set the record straight on COMPAS' giving in the community the last fiscal year and in years prior. In an article about the Scratch and Sniff Awards ("The Big Stink," Amy Silverman, September 26), COMPAS was listed as distributing 44 percent of its revenue to the community this past fiscal year. In fact, we distributed almost $375,000, 73 percent of our gross revenue. The percentage of our giving over the past several years has been near this percentage, one exception being a year when we experienced an economic slowdown and rainout of an outdoor event.
Chalk up the discrepancy to our not being able to quickly get our hands on accurate records to respond to New Times' request and short deadline due to our office being in the final phase of our dissolution process, with records in boxes and storage.
COMPAS is honored to have been an important contributor to the cultural community in the Valley over its 35 years of history and is proud of its record of serving the community.
Man of Honor
Good mental state: Jack Harvey is so much more than just an advocate, or even a great advocate ("Mental Giant," Paul Rubin, September 26). Jack exemplifies the quiet soul of peaceful activism and giving -- human decency. Jack is a friend of mine, a guy I went to baseball games with, had soda with on the weekends, got a ride to the store when needed.
Jack is also a guy who shored up the hopes of the homeless by being a support to those without family or friends. He's a guy who negotiated disputes, in a self-deferring way, that disarmed foes and helped build consensus on mental health issues of grave importance. He marched, he wrote, he spoke, he cried, each foot of Arizona's "40 miles of bad road" and never broke stride.
Thank you again for honoring this "Ghandi of mental health." Sadly, again, there is anything but peace in Arizona's mental health future, and the people we have swept under the rug.
Richard P. Beeman
Board of Directors
Southwest Behavioral Health Services
Broken heart: After reading your cover story, "Prince of Hearts" (Paul Rubin, September 19), it seems that Paul Rubin must be a close personal friend of Dr. Mike Teodori, or must long to be. You would think that the way Paul gushes about him, he is hawking little cans of him on the Home Shopping Network.
The truth is, though, this isn't really what is most annoying about his glowing testimonial disguised as journalism. No, the really annoying part is the way he used one man's opinion to slander and trash the image of what many people would say is a truly great hospital, in spite of what one doctor thinks.
Oh, I know you also have the input of all the people whose children's lives he has saved, but what would you expect them to say? "He sucks, but he did save my kid's life and all."
Well, guess what? St. Joe's saved my daughter's life. She didn't have a bad heart, but she was born almost three months premature and spent three full months after being born emergency C-section in the St. Joe's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was the most stressful and harrowing three months of my life, and I owe a lot of making it through to the NICU staff.
So you might want to let your readers know that there is another side to one doctor's opinion, even an incredibly talented one.
Of course, this really has nothing at all to do with Dr. Teodori. This is about writing an article completely from one point of view. I certainly didn't see any quotes from anyone at St. Joe's, or anyone who has had great care there, like me.
It just goes to show what everyone I know has always said: If you want to know what nightclub is trendiest, or where to get a boob job, the New Times is your source. If you want a source of nonbiased, valuable journalism, you best look further down the line.
Not the only game in town: There is no doubt that the car crash that resulted in injuries to Dr. Michael Teodori, Phoenix cardiac surgeon, was tragic. As the article explained, Dr. Teodori is one of the finest surgeons in his specialty. He not only gets excellent results, he cares deeply for his patients and their families.
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However, to imply that he is the only qualified pediatric cardiac surgeon in Phoenix would be, in my view, a grave misstatement. The pediatric cardiac surgeons at St. Joseph's, Dr. Ravi Koopot and Dr. David Cleveland, also have many years of experience and much-deserved respect from the medical community. They also perform "highly complex" pediatric heart procedures on children, from the smallest infants to teenagers, with remarkable results.
From the New Times article, one might get the impression that it is not safe to send your children to St. Joe's for surgery, including heart surgery, that care there is second-rate. That is simply not true. As a parent, I would not hesitate to have my own children operated on here at St. Joe's by our extremely qualified and compassionate physicians. The St. Joe's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit has a very knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated staff that provides excellent post-op care for pediatric patients. The new PICU is state-of-the-art and utilizes the latest technologies developed from research.
We at St. Joseph's continue to pray for Dr. Teodori's speedy recovery. Meanwhile, I think the public can feel confident and fortunate that there are two very fine pediatric facilities in Phoenix that provide excellent specialized care to children.
CVOR nurse, St. Joseph's