Don Stapley's Videoed Statements to Deputies to be Released

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is preparing to release a video interview by sheriff's deputies of Don Stapley, who was indicted this week on multiple counts of failing to disclose financial transactions on campaign forms.

Michael Scerbo, spokesman for county attorney Andrew Thomas, writes in a news release that the county supervisor made comments to deputies that were recorded on video when he was served with the indictment on Tuesday.

Prosecutors are working with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to figure out when they can release the video, Scerbo says.

The interview could be far more revealing than the several public statements by Stapley since the indictment. See below for a sample of Stapley's responses to the charges, as reported by local news media. It might be interesting to compare them to his statements on the video interview, when that's released:

From the East Valley Tribune today:

Stapley, R-District 2 who represents Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale, said Wednesday that he believes he met the disclosure requirements of the law.

"I believe I did everything required of me," Stapley said. "I can't say anymore, I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to try this case in the press."

Also Wednesday, former Attorney General Grant Woods said he is not representing Stapley in the case. Stapley had said Tuesday that Woods would be his lawyer.

From Tuesday's Trib story:

Stapley told the Tribune the charges are "baseless," and that he has always obeyed state financial disclosure laws.

Stapley said he was notified of the indictment about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday -- about 90 minutes before the news conference with Arpaio and Thomas began. Stapley has hired former state Attorney General Grant Woods as his attorney.

"I stand falsely accused of failure to disclose complete financial information," Stapley said during a brief interview with the Tribune. "I'm shocked and disappointed that these accusations are being made."

He later sent a written statement to the media in which he vowed to fight the charges. "I cannot fathom where these accusations came from or what motivated them," Stapley said in the written statement. "But if my integrity is being questioned, I assure you that I stand on my record of complete integrity and disclosure and will fight these allegations."


From today's Arizona Republic story:

"As much as I'd love to answer your questions, I can't do that," Stapley told The Republic on Wednesday. "This is a criminal case as it was yesterday. It's important for me to not get into it. I stand by my statement."

In that Tuesday statement, he said in part: "I stand falsely accused."

-- Ray Stern

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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