Thomas Reverses Stance on Charging "Super-Speeders;" Republican Party Director Among First to be Reamed


Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (right) has decided it's okay to prosecute "super-speeders" caught by freeway speed cameras, reversing a decision he made in March. 

And leadfoot state Republican Party director Brett Mecum (see police mugshot below) is one of the first to be charged.

Thomas stated two months ago that he believed the law didn't support charging people when the only evidence was photo enforcement data. Despite his opinion, the state Department of Public Safety, which runs the freeway program, continued to arrest motorists in the Phoenix area who were caught on camera doing more than 100 mph.

But something changed a few weeks ago, says DPS. Thomas sent a letter to the agency outlining the criteria he'd use to charge the photographed "super-speeders."


Thomas' office sent us a copy of the April 2 letter sent to DPS that outlined how criminal speed-camera cases may be prosecuted. (Scroll down for the Scribd version of the PDF). 


Apparently, the criteria isn't much different than what's being used in other counties to prosecute criminal speed-camera violators. In other words, it looks like Thomas sort of caved on this issue. We'll tell you more about the change once Thomas' office responds.

The shift in policy means bad things for Mecum, who was arrested at Republican Party headquarters in Phoenix after his nightflight on the Loop 101 in his souped-up Ford Shelby GT Mustang (like the one at right). Court records show Mecum's got a June 10 appointment at the Arrowhead Justice Court on his criminal traffic charge.

But check out this touch of irony: Arrowhead Justice Court is the home of speed-camera-hating Justice of the Peace John Keegan, who declared in December that the state's freeway photo enforcement program was unconstitutional and has thrown out hundreds of tickets.

Maybe Mecum has no legal worries, after all.


Photo Radar CA Authority Photo Radar CA Authority ray stern

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.