It turns out that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Cold Case Posse can use the Sheriff's Office headquarters address in corporate filings, even though the posse's based somewhere else.
Rebecca Wilder, spokeswoman for the Arizona Corporation Commission, checked in with the agency's staff this morning at the request of New Times to find out why the posse's in "delinquent" status.
The posse, like other Arizona corporations, is required to list a physical address in corporate filings with the state, not just a P.O. Box and address of a post office, as it did.
But the nonprofit company, famous (or infamous) for investigating the circumstances of President Obama's birth, can simply list its statutory agent's physical address instead of the corporation's real address, says Wilder.
The Cold Case Posse's statutory agent is Mike Zullo, and by contract or verbal agreement with the Sheriff's Office, (we're not sure yet exactly how that works) he's allowed to claim his address is 100 West Washington, Suite 1900, the MCSO HQ. (That's what he put he on the form, but it should be the MCSO's new address, 550 West Jackson Street.)
Wilder agreed it should be a simple fix for the Cold Case Posse.
Which is precisely what Mike Zullo told us this morning when we phoned him.
"Biiiiitch!" Zullo says upon answering his cell.
He didn't know it was us -- funny things happen sometimes when you block your caller ID. He'd just texted someone and expected someone else to call, he explains. He chatted with us for a few minutes about the corporate situation, letting us know that former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly, who'd reported the address violation, had created nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.
"It really is a non-issue," he says. Asked if Reilly was a disgruntled employee, Zullo answers, "Oh, my god, is he." But he says it would be "out of school" to go into detail about what he has against Reilly, who he says was employed with the posse for only four weeks. (Reilly says he started work on April 17, 2012 and resigned on June 30, 2012, but did research for Zullo since September of 2011.)
The posse has a real, physical address, but doesn't want to reveal because of "safety concerns," Zullo says.
Naturally, before we hung up with him, we had to ask how the Obama investigation was going. He admits it was growing "long in the tooth," but didn't want to get into detail without Arpaio's okay. He's still "certain" his conclusions about Obama's documents being fraudulent are correct, he says.
All we can tell you is he's right about the corporation commission documents.
John Skabelund, a Tempe attorney who specializes in business law, says that it's common for companies to use their statutory agent's address instead of listing the company address. Law firms like his will be the statutory agent for a company for a yearly fee. In this case, the Sheriff's Office must have agreed to let Zullo use their address for receiving mail -- and, in particular, service of court documents. The statutory agent has the responsibility to notify a company quickly when a process server shows up with, say, a court summons.
We asked Reilly what he thought -- he's standing by his position that the Cold Case Posse needs to reveal its real address.
But that's apparently never going to happen.
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.