Casting a Smell

Something's fishy: I read John Dougherty's column about the purchase by Mary Rose and Earl Wilcox from APS of a parcel of property across the street from their [El Portal] restaurant in south Phoenix. According to Dougherty, the property was sold by the APS to Maricopa County Supervisor Wilcox and her husband for substantially less than fair market value ("Sweetheart Deal," June 16).

First, it would seem that a regulated utility would make very sure that any property sold by it was sold at fair market value. If it did otherwise, I believe that ratepayers have a legitimate concern under the theory that all funds received by the utility go to offset the operating costs of the utility and affect the bottom line in determining whether the utility is receiving a fair return on its investments and the rates paid by its customers.

Second, when a utility is dealing with a public official that may have some say-so over its affairs (like, for example, approving sites for power lines), the utility should have a heightened responsibility to ensure that its dealings are completely at arm's length. It must ensure that, with any property sold, there is absolutely no appearance of impropriety.

As it is, the dealings between the APS and the Wilcoxes just don't pass the smell test.
Brent F. Moody, Phoenix

Quid pro quo, Mary Rose, quid pro quo: As far as I'm concerned, Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox has a lot of explaining to do. As a constituent, I don't buy her explanation of how she and Earl got that land so cheap. Pure and simple, APS thought it could buy her good will when it needs something, and it needs something all the time from the county supervisors. To claim anything else is disingenuous.

Kudos to John Dougherty for having the guts to go up against a big-time Democrat. Before this, I would have thought New Times would be protecting her fat ass. I just hope Andy Thomas does the right thing and takes this matter before a grand jury. If he doesn't, somebody should organize a recall effort against him.
Anthony Cahill, Phoenix

Impropriety is color-blind: What a scam Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and her husband are involved in! I can't believe her statements that they did nothing wrong. Doesn't she realize that you can't, in her position, do business with a powerful entity that counts on her votes to get what it wants. Period!

She's either a liar or extremely stupid to think that getting land that cheap is on the up and up. And what kind of fools does she thinks her constituents are to believe they will just say: "Whatever you say, Mary Rose. We all know that you would never do anything wrong. You are the spokeswoman for the Latino community in Phoenix and thereby a pal of the likes of former President Clinton."

Anyway, thanks to John Dougherty for continuing to pull the carpet out from under lying scumbags like Wilcox and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Now I'm just waiting to see if this goes before a grand jury, as Dougherty suggested it should. It would be just like the powers that be to sweep this under the aforementioned rug. Why? Because Wilcox is an influential Latino politician, and it wouldn't be P.C. to go after her. Might cost somebody some votes.

Then, on the other hand, Republican Andy Thomas is the new district attorney. He doesn't seem to like Latinos much, if his actions are any indication. He ran his campaign on an anti-immigration platform, and he decided not to prosecute that guy who drew down on the illegal aliens at the rest stop. Could this big-time Democrat be in trouble?

I hope so, not because she's a Latino but because she's using her position for personal gain. The last time I looked it up, that was a conflict of interest and illegal. There should be no color barrier barring prosecution of a public official for that.
Thomas D. Smith, Ahwatukee

Well, since you ask: Give us a break! Of course Mary Rose Wilcox and her husband, Earl, benefited because of their political affiliations. She's a sitting county supervisor, and he's an influential former state legislator.

And what a bad move to take on con man Charles Keating in the Wilcox enterprise. Talk about dumb! Even if everything were on the up and up, it would stink to high heaven with Keating involved.

If Mary Rose Wilcox isn't indicted by a grand jury for conflict of interest, there's no justice in this county. Could you imagine any white Republican politician in the Phoenix area getting away with this?!
Terri Benjamin, Glendale

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