Mesa: Accused Cleaning Service Had Access to Library, Not City Hall

By Ray Stern

A Mesa official disputes the idea that Maricopa County sheriff's deputies had any legitimate reason to be inside Mesa City Hall during last week's nighttime raids on municipal buildings.

Search warrants prepared by the Sheriff's Office and signed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe, soon to be the court's presiding criminal division judge, allowed deputies to enter Mesa's public library at 64 East 1st Street and the Mesa Plaza Building at 20 East Main Street, which contains the offices of the mayor and city council members. Search warrant returns have not yet been released by the Clerk of the Court.

The deputies caught a whopping total of three illegal immigrants on the library grounds who worked for Management Cleaning Controls, which Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims was under invesigation for months. [See New Times' previous blog entry on the raid].

But none were caught at City Hall -- in fact, a different cleaning company, which wasn't named in the search warrants, does the offices at the eight-story Plaza Building, says city spokesman Steve Wright.

Wright says cleaning crews from the other company, GCA Services, have access to the Plaza Building, but crews from Management Cleaning Controls do not.

Wright's statements contradict part of the search warrant that listed City Hall, which states an "investigation has shown" Management Cleaning Controls workers go inside City Hall to clean it.

Presumably, some kind of proof will surface as to which workers had the magnetic badges that need to be scanned to gain access to the building.

If Wright's right, it would make the raid on City Hall even more questionable than it already is.

UPDATE: Wright was wrong. The workers did have access to City Hall for a time: See this link.

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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.

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