Jack Harris, Phil Gordon are Registered Sex Offenders

It's a fact:

Jack Harris and Phil Gordon are registered sex offenders.

Oh, wait a minute -- you thought we meant our Jack Harris and Phil Gordon? The police chief and mayor of Phoenix?

Actually, the Harris and Gordon who are sex offenders don't live in Arizona. And neither of the criminals share the same birthdate as the well-known locals of the same name.

But, golly gee, it sure can be confusing when you throw some names out there without personal identifying information like birthdates and hometowns. People might get the wrong idea.

Which is exactly our point.

The city of Phoenix recently announced it will begin blacking out the birthdates and home addresses of crime suspects in police reports. The agency's lawyers advised the move, supposedly, to prevent the release of personal data as dictated by a new anti-identity-theft law. Critics say the move will lead to embarrassing -- or even life-ruining -- cases of mistaken identity, but city officials don't seem to care about that.

Maybe they would, if it was the officials being mistaken for criminals.

Here's a picture of the other Jack Harris:


His address is in Florida (he lives in a prison, to be more precise). But who needs addresses, right?

And below is the mayor's namesake, Phil Gordon, a Mississippi resident convicted of sexual battery:



Truly, we don't want anyone to confuse law-abiding family men with scuzzy sex offenders. And that's why Phoenix should change its policy. 

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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.