Two highly placed sources say Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and his "ITeam"--which has left no stone unturned in search of wrongdoing by Arizona's first assistant attorney general, Rob Carey--are drawing a bead on a new target:
Attorney General Grant Woods.
The sources say Romley is likely to ask a county grand jury to pore over a $5,000 credit account set up by America West Airlines for the AG's Office. Romley is said to be obsessed with a $381 plane ticket used by Woods' wife, anchorwoman Marlene Galan, so she could join hubby in New York to raise money for Arizona's criminal justice system. A state law bars elected officials from receiving "special rates" for travel.
Predictably, the stink of politics is wafting over theentire affair. Romley and Carey are possible futurepolitical rivals for the AG's mantle. Two key members of Romley's ITeam, Barnett Lotstein and Jessica Funkhouser, are former assistant AGs whose animus toward Woods and company (Woods asked Lotstein to resign) is well-known in legal circles.
The I-Team has run amok in search of dirt on Woods and Carey. Cops in Eloy, judges in Maricopa County, even representatives of a foundation in New York City all have faced questioning about what they knew and when they knew it.
One county prosecutor bemoaned the political sniping and suggested that Romley should concentrate on managing his dwindling budget and keeping talented staffers from fleeing for other agencies--including the Attorney General's Office.
The Flash recommends staying tuned. This could be delicious.
Fife's Seats Worth Squat
Remember those ASU football tickets New Times bought out of Governor J. Fife Symington III's bankruptcy? The Flash intended to give the ASU-UCLA tickets to some good-humored public figure. The Flash had forgotten that such species are extinct in Arizona.
Impeached governor Ev Mecham responded to the offer by saying, "Why would I want to do that?" Then he began rambling about how the Fifester's creditors should try to recover the money Fife contributed in 1987 to the Recall Ev campaign.
Anyway, Fife's tickets wound up in the hands of a scalper, who balked when it was suggested that the governor's seats should command a premium.
"That don't make no difference," the grammatically challenged ticket trader spat. "He's bankrupt--they should be free."
They almost were. The scalper's best offer was $7 per ticket--$10 under face value. And waaay less than what New Times paid.
Whoever snapped up the seats saw a great game.
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