Ssshhh... Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery seem to be on a secret mission.
He's scheduled to appear at a fundraiser tomorrow for himself hosted by lawyer Mark Goldman and featuring an appearance by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, (whom Montgomery apparently thinks is sort of daffy.)
Obviously, this can't be a simple shin-dig. Montgomery's job is to uphold the law, and both Arpaio and Goldman have been linked to some dirty deals. We can only assume that Montgomery must be preparing a mental list of tough questions to ask his would-be benefactors. Maybe he's even gonna wear a body wire.
The problems with Arpaio -- you probably know all about those. Montgomery ought to have plenty of great questions for him. But unless you've been keeping close track of our blog posts in recent months, you might have missed the fact that Goldman is at the heart of the bogus criminal investigation by Arpaio and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas of County Supervisor Don Stapley.
According to an investigation by the Arizona State Bar, Goldman likely helped conduct research on Stapley's financial disclosure forms as early as January of 2007, and no later than June of 2007. The dates are important because Thomas managed to get a grand jury to indict Stapley on alleged disclosure-form violations in December of 2008, despite a one-year time limit on the investigation due to the statute of limitations.
In other words, Thomas stands accused of intentionally filing a case after the expiration of the legal deadline -- and Goldman worked on the case.
Now, it's true that Goldman denied he knew anything related to this mess in the blog post we published about it last December. He says he doesn't remember passing out info about Stapley at a meeting of the now-discredit and disbanded Maricopa Anti-Corruption Enforcement team created by Arpaio and Thomas, even though the bar's investigator, John Gleason, stated in a report that Goldman did just that.
Gleason's report states that Goldman or Thomas' ardent former deputy county attorney Lisa Aubuchon initiated the Stapley case. Both Aubuchon and Thomas are scheduled for a disciplinary hearing this fall over that and other matters related to the corrupt investigations of Arpaio's anti-corruption unit, MACE.
A MACE meeting agenda for June 13, 2007, states that a public records request (for Stapley's disclosure forms) was to be drafted with the help of Goldman, according to page 30 of Gleason's report.
So, back to Montgomery's mission: He's got to be curious about this, right? He wouldn't just use Goldman for his money and connections without knowing what really happened, would he?
Of course not. The county attorney, a former U.S. Army tank commander, is a defender of truth and justice -- he's not tainted by politics to the extent that money would matter more than honor.
While he's there, and hopefully with a tape rollling, maybe he'll ask one of the other guests, Steve Ellman, what he knew about the SCA scandal and the suspected deal with Arpaio's enforcer, Dave Hendershott, in an East Valley development of Ellman's. If he still has energy from this undercover work, maybe he'll also ask Grant Woods, another guest, why Woods' 2009 investigation into alleged corruption pertaining to the Fiesta Bowl completely missed the massive corruption going on?
Of course, Montgomery's big coup for this potential mini-investigation at the party being held for him would be if he could get Sheriff Arpaio to admit this whole idea of Hendershott snookering him is just a tall tale concocted to protect the sheriff's reputation.
Umm, at least we thought an undercover investigation might be Montgomery's plan -- until we received the response from him this morning to our question about the fund-raiser and Goldman's connection to the Stapley case:
See below for the invitation and letter about the party: