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LGBT Advocates Cast a Pall on the Phoenix PD and the Valley's Gay Community

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Bloom said he thought at the time that Wilson was acting with "normal" kindness.

In an interview with New Times, Simplot said Wilson was "a master at manipulation."

Wilson's name-dropping apparently had Phoenix police Sergeant Mark Schweikert, Wilson's direct police supervisor, believing that the detective was protected within the department.

In an August 2012 memo, Schweikert complained to his superiors that, among other things, Wilson was shielded from discipline by certain gay upper-echelon officials, namely Simplot and then-Assistant Chief Montgomery.

Police Chief Daniel Garcia shot down Schweikert's allegation about Simplot's meddling in police matters in a November 28 memo written to the City Manager's Office.

Intended to "address the question of Councilman Simplot's alleged involvement in influencing Sergeant Mark Schweikert's actions in the supervision of former Detective Chris Wilson," Garcia wrote that he had no information supporting the allegation.

Schweikert's claim that he suffered discrimination as a straight man because of Montgomery and others within the police hierarchy was dealt with in an internal investigation conducted by the city's Equal Opportunity Department.

According to the EOD, several witnesses told investigators that Wilson had a penchant for tossing around political connections in conversations with colleagues. He wasn't always respectful to his boss, they said.

For instance, Wilson "questioned Sergeant Schweikert's directives during multiple briefings in a manner the witnesses viewed as unprofessional," the EOD report states.

Schweikert said Wilson was disliked by certain gay leaders because he didn't respond to their concerns, adding that Wilson gave preferential treatment to segments of the gay community.

The internal investigation, however, concluded that Schweikert's fear of official retaliation was unfounded.

"The investigation failed to support Sergeant Schweikert's allegations regarding Commander Montgomery's unfair or discriminatory interference," according to the report. "He had no proof of his belief; he simply felt it was true."

It concluded that Schweikert's "failure to do his job as a supervisor was his own choice, and there was no evidence to substantiate his fear of Commander Montgomery."

Montgomery was demoted and moved to a bureau at Sky Harbor International Airport when new Police Chief Garcia assembled his executive team. The EOD report specifically noted that her "reassignment was not related to performance or [Schweikert's] complaint."

Interestingly, in one of his memos, Schweikert detailed noticeable changes in Wilson's behavior in the weeks before his arrest:

"I had observed that he had been distant at work, and he did not seem happy. I was concerned about Mr. Wilson, but I did not have enough to articulate a request for a Work Fitness Evaluation . . . I felt that he could lose his temper at any moment."

Police reports suggest that Laieski worried about what Wilson might do if Joey's mother reported the threesome to police.

"You don't wanna mess with him," Joey's mother quoted Laieski as saying. "He [Wilson] has got a lot guns . . . He's gonna come after us if you prosecute him. He'll just be in jail a couple of years, and he'll come after us. He has people in the police department that will go after you."

She said Laieski was "very scared at that time. Very scared."


Wilson doesn't look threatening as he sits in the interrogation room. And he doesn't deny that he found himself in bed "playing around" with two underage boys.

The room — where he's questioned by a polite detective who sounds sympathetic to Wilson's situation — is much like the cell that Wilson's been sitting in since 2012.

"I don't think you're a bad guy, Chris," says the detective, who's probably just playing "good cop" to keep Wilson talking. "This is just an unfortunate situation."

Arizona law requires that an adult convicted of "a dangerous crime against children in the first degree," which involves "sexual conduct with a minor" who's 12, 13, or 14 years old, face a minimum 13-year sentence in prison.

Wilson tells the detective several times that he had only oral contact with the two boys. He insists there was no penetration.

The detective wants to know why, then, did Wilson ask whether the teens had lube.

"I just can't masturbate dry," Wilson says. A few moments later, he raises his cuffed wrists to his face and wipes tears from his eyes.

While the detective excuses himself from the room, Wilson drops his face into his hands.

He takes a drink from a water bottle, stands, adjusts his white T-shirt over a pair of black-and-white, knee-length shorts, twists his body, and stretches his back.

"Fuck." The word escapes from his mouth as he exhales.

He stretches again, this time leaning back against the drab, gray wall.

He repeats, "Oh, fuck."

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo