The City of Phoenix continues to refuse release of Mayor Phil Gordon's security-detail logs --kept by members of his security team who track Gordon's daily activities. They contain information such as where they dropped off and picked up the mayor and who was traveling with him.
New Times, the Arizona Republic, other media outlets, and agencies have requested the public records.
They were initially requested to unravel the nature of the relationship between Gordon and his then-fundraiser Elissa Mullany. As it turns out, the two were dating while she was raising money for him and various political-action committees he'd formed. She also served on city committees and frequently worked out of the mayor's office, also while the two were dating.
City Attorney Gary Verburg repeatedly has cited security reasons, in part, for not allowing the public to know how the publicly funded security team and Gordon spent their time on the clock.
Although it's hard to believe that the mayor's security would be jeopardized by release of the logs, as Verburg contends, no lawsuit has been filed to force the city to release them.
Judicial Watch, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C., has demanded the city turn over two years' worth of the security-detail logs. Earlier this year, the agency promised to sue if the records weren't turned over.
"Stay turned," says Chris Farrell, the agency's director of research. "It's not something we've forgotten. It's not something we've given up on. You'll see."
Although Gordon was forced to disclose his relationship with Elissa Mullany because of mounting media pressure, the city has held steadfast that it cannot release the security-detail logs.
Even though the requests are for logs of events that already have taken place, Verburg says someone wanting to do harm to Gordon could establish a pattern of his travels. He ignores the fact that the same meeting dates and times were released to Valley media outlets via Gordon's daily calendar. The logs included more detail about the mayor's activities -- including unscheduled events and who accompanied him.
We'll let you know when Judicial Watch pounces with its lawsuit.
It will be interesting to see how far Phoenix will go -- and how much the cash-strapped city will spend -- to protect a culture of secrecy that has taken root in the Mayor's Office.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.