Arizona Capitol

Scott Bundgaard's Lawyer, Mark Goldman, is Same Guy Accused of Helping Lisa Aubuchon Screw Over Don Stapley

Local lawyer Mark Goldman's alleged actions in the investigation of Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley have become evidence against former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Thomas' political go-to girl, Lisa Aubuchon.

Goldman also helped Aubuchon fight her State Bar complaint.

Now bad-boyfriend and state senator Scott Bundgaard is counting on Goldman, to help spin his version of the now infamous Freeway Fight.

To us, Goldman's credibility is shot until he coughs up better answers to the allegations of investigator John Gleason, who provided a damning report to the state Supreme Court in December. As we noted in a blog post back then, Goldman -- a former deputy county attorney -- helped distribute negative info about Stapley at a meeting of the now-discredited anti-corruption task force put together by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Thomas.

It's the timing of Goldman's actions that matter: Because public records concerning Stapley were distributed by Goldman to law enforcement between January and June of 2007, Gleason found, the one-year statute of limitations deadline had run out by the time Thomas had Stapley charged with 44 misdemeanors.

Thomas and Aubuchon, as our readers well know, face disbarment in an upcoming State Bar action.

Gleason's report stated that agendas for the anti-corruption task force meetings were written by former sheriff's office employee Bruce Tucker:

Stapley is listed on the agenda for MACE meetings occurring May 9, May 23, June 6, June 13, June 20, and June 27, 2007. After his name it is noted in parentheses that these matters are being referred to Yavapai County. (This is not the same referral that was done later in April 2009.) This notation is consistent with the memo in the notebook that was described in the paragraph immediately above. The meeting agenda for June 13, 2007, states that a public records request was to be drafted with the assistance of "Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Mark Goldman."

The indictment of Stapley charges misdemeanor violations of A.R.S §38-542 and §38-544, Failure to File and/or filing False or Incomplete Financial Disclosures.

As noted above the evidence establishes that the investigation began in January 2007, but no later than early June 2007. Therefore, the State had to commence prosecution of Stapley by June 2008 on 44 of the misdemeanors charged in the indictment.26 However, Stapley was indicted on November 20, 2008. The statute of limitations had run on those charges.

Goldman doesn't face discipline his role in what Gleason described as a political scheme of retaliation, but we can't help but wonder if he shouldn't have known that Stapley was being charged incorrectly. And frankly, we're skeptical about his Oliver North-style memory lapse over the whole thing. Here's what we reported in December:

In an e-mail to New Times, Goldman claims he has "no recollection" of handing out material about Stapley at the meetings. He also says he "did not initiate or help to initiate" any investigations at the county attorney's office, and that he knew "nothing whatsoever" of any investigation of Stapley in 2007.

His explanations fall short, as far as we're concerned, but Goldman would not respond to follow-up questions via e-mail.

Now on to the news of the day: According to an e-mail we received from Bundgaard's buddy, PR Salvage Pro Jason Rose, Goldman wants the public to buy some manure about Bundgaard passing a lie detector test. Here's the news release from Rose:

Arizona State Senator Scott Bundgaard Aces Lie Detector Test; Additional Information Developing

(PHOENIX, ARIZ. - MARCH 11, 2011) - Some have questioned the validity of Arizona State Senator Scott Bundgaard's statements about an incident following a charitable event with his ex-girlfriend.

Can they do so now?

On Wednesday afternoon Bundgaard undertook an extensive polygraph test covering all of the relevant and tough questions concerning the incident in question. Please contact Mark Goldman for the test questions and results.

"Scott ducked no questions. And we sought out a polygrapher with excellent credentials. The result? He didn't just pass the test, he aced it," said Bundgaard attorney Mark Goldman.

"This has been a difficult couple of weeks for my family, my colleagues and all involved. Many rushed to judgment. I hope today's results will give pause to some and encourage others to re-evaluate. I told people I would clear my name. This is one step in that process. There will be others in the next several days. We are working closely with law enforcement and are optimistic of a resolution soon," Bundgaard said.

For more information or to obtain a copy of the report please contact Mark Goldman.

We tried calling Goldman to ask about his credibility and Bundgaard's bunk, but we haven't heard from him yet.

No matter. Bundgaard may have passed a lie detector test, but he's already failed the ethics test.

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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.