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Andrew Thomas' Sweetheart Deal Part Two: KFYI Gets Special Treatment, Too

By Ray Stern

First, thank you to "John," who posted a comment on my previous blog post today, pointing out that KFYI also had an article about the illegal immigration report that had been released by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas [pictured].

I called KFYI at about 3:30 p.m. and found out the station's reporter viewed the report yesterday, as did a reporter from KTAR. Both stations feature right-wing talk shows.

As mentioned previously, most other media -- including New Times -- was told the report would be available at a 3 p.m. news conference. But KFYI received a copy from Thomas' office and posted it online this morning. KTAR posted a summary of the article at 6:40 a.m.

After the press conference, which I could not attend, I called Michael Scerbo, the spokesman for Thomas' office. I asked Scerbo to explain how it happened that KFYI received the report this morning, while a legal request under Arizona's public records law for the report made by New Times at 6:50 a.m. still hadn't been satisfied -- or even acknowledged by his office -- by 4 p.m.

Scerbo refused to answer the question, at first. Then he said he'd been busy.

I asked him whether it was fair to release the report promptly to one news outlet and delay the release to another news outlet.

Scerbo -- a former radio reporter at KFYI, by the way -- refused to answer the question.

So I asked him whether this was a case of "playing favorites," as I had suggested in my earlier blog post.

He says that's just my opinion.

Well, sure it is.

But it's what I'd call an educated opinion.

Scerbo finally sent me the report a few minutes ago, at 4:41 p.m. So, as I wanted to do this morning, I now pass it along to you:

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern