Feathered Bastard

Yellow Sheet, Channel 12 follow story on Russell Pearce domestic violence allegations; Pearce blames wife's lawyer.

Russell "White Pride" Pearce, doing what he does best...

This Friday, the Web site for the Yellow Sheet Report, a political tipsheet published by the Arizona Capitol Times, picked up on the 30-year-old allegations of domestic violence against Russell Pearce by his wife LuAnne. The story appeared first in this blog, and then was followed by an item in this past Thursday's Bird column.

Both the Bird and the Feathered Bastard revealed the existence of a 28-year-old divorce petition, on file with the Maricopa County Superior Court, wherein LuAnne Pearce swore that her husband was "possessed of a violent temper, and has from time to time hit and shoved" her. In an incident alleged to have happened shortly before the document was drafted, Pearce supposedly "grabbed [her] by the throat and threw her down."

When contacted by phone, Mrs. Pearce denied the incidents ever happened, or that she ever claimed as much to her lawyer at the time, E. Evans Farnsworth, now a judge in Chandler. Farnsworth stated that he did not recall the specific case, as he handled quite a few divorce petitions back in the 1980s. But he stated that the allegation would have come from his interview of Mrs. Pearce, and that he would not have inserted it without her knowledge.

Indeed, Mrs. Pearce signed the petition, and her signature was notarized. Just before her signature, it states, "Lu Anne Pearce, being first duly sworn upon her oath, deposes and says: That she is the petitioner in the foregoing Petition for Dissolution of Marriage; that she has read the same and knows the contents thereof to be true..."

You can read the entire document, here. The passage in question is on page four, and is highlighted.

When asked about the report by the Yellow Sheet, Pearce called it "garbage," and suggested LuAnne's attorney had crammed words in her mouth.

"It's an attorney that took advantage of my wife," Pearce told them. "She never said that."

(The Yellow Sheet charges $250 per month for access to its Web site. Too rich for my blood, alas. So no linky-pooh for you, my pretties.)

Pearce also suggested it must not be true because it happened 30 years ago, and no one had discovered it prior to now.

Channel 12's Veronica Sanchez pounced on the story a couple of days before the Yellow Sheet, following up on the New Times piece by exposing Pearce's poor voting record when it comes to protecting victims of domestic violence.

Pearce's incensed response to the revelation has put him in the odd position of having to deny details of a sworn document signed by his wife, and imply that his wife's lawyer, now a judge, was somehow to blame.

But why would a lawyer risk his good standing with the bar and add something that wasn't true to an otherwise routine matter? And why would Mrs. Pearce deny the document's allegations now, when she signed the paperwork at the time?

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons

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