Coopers & Lybrand officials say a great opportunity prompted the firm's former Phoenix managing partner, Mike Marrie, to leave the Big Six accounting outfit to take a job at Phoenix powerhouse law firm Snell & Wilmer.
Others quietly say Marrie's sudden departure last winter from Coopers & Lybrand came under odd circumstances.
Sources familiar with the two firms speculate that Marrie took a huge pay cut to join S&W. They say annual compensation for a managing partner at Big Six accounting firms in Phoenix is in the half-million-dollar range, a far cry from the $125,000 to $150,000 somebody in Marrie's position at S&W--he manages nonlegal personnel--takes home.
So why did Marrie leave C&L? Perhaps it was his connection to the late C&L tax accountant John Yeoman, who also served as personal, business and campaign bookkeeper for Governor J. Fife Symington III. Yeoman was indicted in March on federal fraud and obstruction charges stemming from the state's award in 1991 of the $1.5 million Project SLIM contract to C&L. Yeoman was killed in an auto accident April 5.
Marrie was in charge of C&L's Phoenix office at the time it won the Project SLIM contract. "I want to make it perfectly clear the principal reason that we were awarded this contract was because of the efforts of John Yeoman. I want to make sure John gets the appropriate credit for this engagement," Marrie wrote in a September 10, 1991, office memo.
Marrie never imagined that Yeoman's "engagement" would lead federal investigators to comb Coopers & Lybrand's internal files. C&L says it is cooperating with the feds' probe of the Project SLIM contract.
Marrie, who declined to be interviewed, should feel right at home at Snell & Wilmer: The law firm also is under federal investigation for its representation of Arizona's bankrupt, indicted governor.
Big Al a Political Wunderkind
Arizona pundits have been droning for months about the dearth of qualified Democratic candidates for November's elections. They've overlooked Lake Havasu City's Alexander "Big Al" Schneider, who hopes to challenge Republican U.S. Representative Bob Stump in November. Consider Big Al's qualifications, as outlined in a five-page missive faxed to lobbyists and bureaucrats:
He's served in our nation's armed forces: As a member of the Air Force in the Fifties, Big Al was a "teletype crypto operator" at the Pentagon who "went with the President to his secret hideaway in case of an atomic attack." And we're guessing he'd lead his Arizona constituents to this hideaway in the event of nuclear attack or unbearably hot weather.
Scatter if you see Big Al with a firearm: He was a postal worker for years in Washington, D.C. As a union "leader," he learned his way around Capitol Hill because "he had to set up Congressional Breakfasts in the cafeteria in one of the lower floors of the Capitol." Talk about your nightmarish logistics!
He has proper training to deal with Congress: After retiring from the Postal Service, Big Al became a bailiff in Maryland, where "each year he received up-to-date courses to detect basic types of psychiatric disorders, such as paranoid schizophrenia and manic depressive illness. Along with this, he learned to detect materials and the use of these materials to manufacture and improvise various types of explosives." Well, that about guarantees him the Kingman vote!
Big Al also was a sworn officer with the Maryland Racing Commission, where "he became efficient in the use of firearms, detection of drugs, medical emergencies and the latest in metal detectors." Sounds like a weekend with Marion Barry.
He's a Renaissance man: Big Al has completed a college course in "Creative Thinking and Successful Results," has a black belt in karate and has coached kick boxing and football. The Flash took the same course covering all those disciplines at Rio Salado Community College.
Big Al's got the best campaign slogan the Flash has heard in a long time: "Dump the Stump."
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