Thomas Reverses Stance on Charging "Super-Speeders;" Republican Party Director Among First to be Reamed
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (right) has decided it's okay to prosecute "super-speeders" caught by freeway speed cameras, reversing a decision he made in March.
And leadfoot state Republican Party director Brett Mecum (see police mugshot below) is one of the first to be charged.
Thomas stated two months ago that he believed the law didn't support charging people when the only evidence was photo enforcement data. Despite his opinion, the state Department of Public Safety, which runs the freeway program, continued to arrest motorists in the Phoenix area who were caught on camera doing more than 100 mph.
But something changed a few weeks ago, says DPS. Thomas sent a letter to the agency outlining the criteria he'd use to charge the photographed "super-speeders."
Thomas' office sent us a copy of the April 2 letter sent to DPS that outlined how criminal speed-camera cases may be prosecuted. (Scroll down for the Scribd version of the PDF).
Apparently, the criteria isn't much different than what's being used in other counties to prosecute criminal speed-camera violators. In other words, it looks like Thomas sort of caved on this issue. We'll tell you more about the change once Thomas' office responds.
The shift in policy means bad things for Mecum, who was arrested at Republican Party headquarters in Phoenix after his nightflight on the Loop 101 in his souped-up Ford Shelby GT Mustang (like the one at right). Court records show Mecum's got a June 10 appointment at the Arrowhead Justice Court on his criminal traffic charge.
But check out this touch of irony: Arrowhead Justice Court is the home of speed-camera-hating Justice of the Peace John Keegan, who declared in December that the state's freeway photo enforcement program was unconstitutional and has thrown out hundreds of tickets.
Maybe Mecum has no legal worries, after all.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- Inmates Accuse Arizona of Experimenting with Lethal-Injection Drugs
- 10 Things Arizonans Hate About Snowbirds
- Scottsdale Couple Are Pioneers in Tiny-Home Movement in Arizona