Hundreds of Child Sex Crimes Not Properly Investigated

CBS 5 – KPHO Audit: Hundreds of Phoenix child crime cases not properly investigated

 

Audit: Hundreds of Phoenix child crime cases not properly investigated

Posted: Mar 20, 2012 6:46 PMUpdated: Mar 20, 2012 8:47 PM

Submitted by Breann Bierman – email

By Pat McReynolds – bio | email

 

PHOENIX (CBS5) –

The child crimes unit at the Phoenix Police Department was created to protect our most vulnerable, but an internal audit obtained by CBS 5 shows in hundreds of cases detectives failed to properly investigate the crimes.

“We have to own up as an organization to those employees who did not do their job,” said Sgt. Trent Crump, the spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department. “From officers to supervisors, who did not do their job.”

Auditors looked at one year, from June 2009 to June of 2010, that included 969 cases that 23 detectives worked on.

In 29 percent of those cases, detectives either didn’t interview victims and witnesses or did so improperly.

In ten percent, evidence was simply not collected or was collected improperly and in 41 percent, nearly half of a year’s worth of crimes, case management was faulty or incomplete.

“It never should have happened, don’t get me wrong. But it did and the question becomes now, how do we fix it? What do we do now to get our reputation back when it comes to crimes against children?” Crump said.

Crump said part of the problem was detectives working with a computer system that is 30 years old and department supervisors who created a culture that allowed this type of case neglect.

But the audit also shows that in many cases, detectives simply let CPS do all their work for them even though CPS isn’t trained for criminal work.

Detectives let 48 cases sit with no follow-up for more than a year.

“I won’t identify the employees that we are looking at internally as a result of this investigation,” Crump said.

Crump said to name officers involved would be against state law. But many of them are still with the department and to this point, no one has been disciplined.

Sources told CBS 5 that 15 officers who worked in child crimes received emails last week alerting them that they will have to face internal affairs for problems with the facts in their reports.

“Is it fair to say that the laziness or misconduct in the detectives involved in this review could have led to other crimes and other child victims?” CBS 5 asked Crump.

“Yes,” Crump said.

“Is that something that you are concerned about?” CBS 5 asked.

“Well absolutely, but without a crystal ball, how will we ever know?” Crump said. “How will we know that number? We won’t.”

Sixteen cold cases have been turned over to the county attorney’s office for prosecution.

Arrests have been made in two of those cases.

Hilario Sanchez was busted in connection with a child molestation case from 1999 and James Gonzalez was arrested for sexual conduct with a minor.

In both these cases, proper investigation could have locked up the suspects years earlier.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS-5 for more on this developing story.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Ex-DOJ aide says Arizona faces voting rights hurdles in redistricting effort

By The Associated Press

Published: August 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Voting rights atop Arizona redistricting criteria
PAUL DAVENPORT,Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — The state redistricting commission got a dose of political reality Monday when it was told that federal officials’ assessment of whether new maps protect minorities’ voting rights effectively trumps other criteria spelled out in the Arizona Constitution.

A former Justice Department official now advising the Arizona commission said the state’s congressional and legislative district maps will face vigorous reviews by that agency for compliance with the Voting Rights Act, a 46-year-old federal law that protects minorities’ voting rights.

And if the maps are found wanting, “you’re talking about no preclearance, no elections,” Bruce Adelson, a former senior Justice Department lawyer, said during a commission meeting in Tucson. He’s now a voting-rights compliance consultant to the Arizona commission’s mapping consultants.

Adelson said the federal mandate on voting rights are paramount, effectively subordinating Arizona’s other redistricting criteria, such as fostering inter-party competition and respecting as-yet-undefined “communities of interest.”

“Your state considerations to redistrict are your state considerations,” Adelson said. “The law is the law.”

Now in the early stages of drawing new congressional and legislative maps for use in elections in the coming decade, the commission has begun directing its consultants to explore “what-if” options for drawing lines under varying scenarios.

Created as a result of a 2000 ballot measure to take redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature, the first Arizona redistricting commission learned the importance of Voting Rights Act compliance the hard way. It had to redraw several legislative districts to satisfy Justice Department objections.

Adelson said Voting Rights Act compliance requires Arizona to still have two congressional districts and nine legislative districts in which minority voters are deemed plentiful enough to elect candidates of their choice, typically by having majorities consisting of minority voters.

Otherwise, Arizona would have “retrogression” prohibited under the Voting Rights Act, Adelson said.

The commission briefly touched on the political stakes involved with Voting Rights Act compliance when Democratic Commissioner Jose Herrera raised the subject of “packing.” That’s a redistricting tactic that involves concentrating minority voters in relatively few districts so that remaining districts have fewer Democratic-leaning voters, benefiting Republicans.

Adelson said the state runs the risk of running afoul of one section of the Voting Rights Act if it creates districts without high enough percentages of voting-age minorities to avoid “retrogression” from current districts’ levels.

But “packing” districts with huge majorities of minorities could be a violation of a different section of the law, he said. “You don’t have a lot of margin of error.”

In another development, the commission debated whether to require its mapping consultants to record and disclose their contacts with the public on mapping issues outside of commission hearings and meetings.

Republican Commissioner Richard Stertz notes controversy surrounding the selection of Strategic Telemetry as the mapping consultants. Public concern could be allayed if contacts with the Washington-based firm with Democratic political ties are logged and disclosed to provide transparency, Stertz said.

A proposed amendment to the commission’s contract with Strategic Telemetry to require disclosure of contacts was temporarily set aside after the panel’s two Democratic members proposed changing it to exclude contacts from the media and bloggers from the requirement.

Excluding bloggers creates an exception that would be big enough to drive a “Mack truck through,” Stertz objected.

In deciding to put the issue aside temporarily, commissioners said they want more research on whether and how public bodies regulate media contacts and if there are any court rulings on related First Amendment issues.

The commission on Monday voted 4-0, with the fifth member abstaining, to reaffirm its contract with Strategic Telemetry.

At least one of the Republican members had questioned whether the commission’s executive director was authorized to execute the contract that he negotiated with the firm at the commission’s direction.

“It would help if we put this issue to bed,” Republican Commission Scott Freeman said as he voted to reaffirm the contract.

Redistricting commission picks initial ‘grid’ maps – Arizona

By Paul Davenport, Associated Press

Published: August 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

 Arizona’s redistricting commission on Thursday picked starting points for drawing new congressional and legislative district maps, with a dissenting member expressing concern about representation of areas along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The commission, during a meeting in Casa Grande, reviewed two sets of so-called grid maps based on only two of the constitutionally required criteria — equal population and compactness of the districts.

One set was based on a starting point in the Phoenix area and the other by working from the southeastern corner of the state.

The commission voted 4-1 to use the southeastern Arizona option, which the commission’s mapping consultants said generally produced districts more compact than the alternatives.

Commissioner Jose Herrera, a Democrat, voted no. He said he was concerned that both options had three congressional districts including regions along the border.

The congressional map used in the past five general elections had two districts along the border, with both seats held by Democrats.

Herrera didn’t explain his concern, but the counties along the border include strong Democratic-leaning areas. Splitting those areas among three districts could make the resulting districts harder for Democrats to win.

With approval of the so-called “grid” maps as starting points for drawing new districts, the commission now must direct the consultants to make changes to satisfy other required redistricting criteria.

Those include respecting as-yet-undefined communities of interest, protecting minority voting rights and creating of districts winnable by either major party.

The commission includes two Democrats, two Republicans and one independent. It was created under a ballot measure approved by voters in 2000 to take redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature.

Mapping consultant Ken Strasma said the grid maps were intended to provide the commission with a “clean-slate start” from current districts and to ensure that incumbents’ residences are not considered.

Under questioning by Herrera, Strasma said the number of border districts may have been discussed in discussions he had with other individual commissioners, whom he did not identify.

However, Strasma said the consultants made “no conscious attempt” to have three border districts in the grid maps. “We followed the procedure that was outlined at the last meeting and did not do anything to have either two or three border districts.”

Commission Chair Colleen Mathis, the independent, said the grid maps will be substantially revised as the commission considers the other required criteria.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean we will have three border districts. We could have four or two or we could have one,” she said.

Even before starting actual map work that is bound to stir heated debate among politicians and various advocates, the commission has been embroiled in controversy.

Much of that has centered on the selection of Strasma’s firm, Strategic Telemetry, a Washington-based firm with Democratic ties, as its mapping consultants.

Mathis sided with the two Democrats in picking Strategic Telemetry over a California-based firm favored by the two Republicans.

Adopted congressional “grid” map

Adopted legislative “grid” map

 

We begin to prepare for election 2012 by becoming familiar with Presidential candidates

Barack Obama – current President of the United States – running – Democrat.  Born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  His parents divorced. Father attended Harvard University, returned to Kenya and was killed in car accident.  American mother married an Indonesian and family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia. Obama attended local schools until 10 and returned to Hawaii to live with maternal grandparents. Attended private college preparatory school and graduated with honors.  Studied at Occidental College in L.A. and transferred to Columbia University, majoring in political science with specialization in international relations.  Received BA in 1983 and worked for one year at Business International Corporation and moved to Chicago to work as community organizer.  Entered Harvard School of Law & graduated with JD degree magna cum laude in 1991.  Married Michelle Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate and had two daughters. Served as associate attorney with Mines, Barnhill & Gallard representing community organizeers, discrimination claims and voting rights claims.  Lectured on Constitutional law at the University of Chicago until elected to State Senate in 1996-2004.  Elected to U.S. Senate and elected President of the United States in 2008. Faces challenges with the economy, foreign relations and national budget deficit. Recent polls see a significant drop in support. Obama relaxed deportation priorities within Homeland Security to focus on deportation of individuals with criminal backgrounds.. He is also proposing new immigration reforms. among the most recent is barring the deportation of some young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children with no knowledge of  breaking immigration laws. He is pro-choice and support gay marriages. Obama passed Obamacare, making it possible for 30M to purchase insurance, but being challenged in court on constitutionality. Obama captured and killed Osama Bin Ladin. Withdrew American troops to end the war in Iraq and is credited with working with NATO on Syrian issues and the final death of Muamar Gaddafi. Obama was faced with the biggest financial world challenge immediately after becoming President. Obama offered stimulus funds to U.S. financial institutions, automobile industry, etc. to avoid economic downturn, most have repaid stimulus funds, but is criticized for the effectiveness of the stimulus plan and bailing out institutions.  Established an American Jobs Plan to offer jobs to Americans. Plan was defeated by Republicans in the Senate, but Veterans Jobs segment finally approved. Passed universal health care, supports teachers, college affordability, veterans, elderly, women and children.  Opposes prioritization of Social Security. President is faced with having the U.S. Supreme Court decide on the constitutionality of Obamacare and SB1070, which was challenged by the DOJ charging pre-emption of federal law over state law.  Both may have an impact on his re-election.  Nobel Laureate Prize recipient and author.

Republican challenger

Mitt Romney – Republican Party Nominee for President –  Born on March 12, 1947 and son to George W. Romney  (Governof of Michigan 1963-69).  His father was an automotive executive and his mother an actress turned homemaker. His father was born to American parents living in Mexico. He is a fifth generation member of the Mormon Church.  Mitt Romney was raised in Bloomfield, Michigan, in an elite community, where he attended private boarding school. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Stanford University and after one year, left on a 30 month Mormon mission to France  He returned to the U.S. and in 1965 married Ann Davies who was attending Brigham Young University.  On her encouragement, he enrolled at BYU and graduated with a Bachelors in English and in 1975 received a joint Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. He and his wife have five children.  Romney served most of his career life in the private sector as a management consultant and executive.  He also served one term as Governor of Massachusettes and later on as President of the Salt Lake City Olympics.   Romney. While Governor, he was criticized for signing into law a health care plan modeled by Obamacare.  During his term he raised taxes by $740M.   According to critics he was not a full-time Governor and as a result Massachusettes was one of two states with a no growth economy during his tenure.  He left office with only a 30% approval rating.  After leaving political office, Romney worked for  Bain Investment firm. His work focused on investing time in helping clients become profitable.  Romney also worked for Bain Capital, investing and acquiring financial stakes in companies and then selling them for profit. He is criticized by his own party members for using Bain Capital to purchase and destroy companies that result in less employment and the  firing of employees.  In 1994 Romney ran for U.S. Senator of Massachusettes and lost to Ted Kennedy .In 1999, he became the President of the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics and helped turn a fiscally troubled organization into a success. He was elected as Governor of Massachusettes in 2002. Romney’s focus is on the economy and job creation. He is pro-life and does not support gay marriages. Romney runs on a conservative campaign that states federal government is too large, millions of jobs lost during Obama administration, citizens faced with bankruptcies and foreclosures under Obama and believes in free enterprise. He has limited experience in foreign policy and recently formed a foreign policy committee.  Romney has strong family values, is Mormon and  has made it clear he will not support amnesty or the Dream Act and is against any immigration reform. This position was recently changed in response to Obama’s Executive Order to grant temporary legal status to students brought to this country as children and needing work visas. Most recently, vetted Senator Marco Rubio as a potential VP candidates. Romney believes in limited government, a need for self-reliance and requirements for welfare.  He is an author, received five honorary degrees and was named by TIME magazine as 100 of the most influential people in the world.

 

U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE GETS REPORT ON ARPAIO AIDES

by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez on May. 05, 2011, under National News

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has received a sensitive investigative report detailing findings about misconduct involving three top commanders for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre confirmed Thursday that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had received the internal report this week.

Federal officials subpoenaed the report last week and at the time, MacIntyre said it was unclear how the Sheriff’s Office would respond to the subpoena.

The six-month internal investigation into Arpaio’s men uncovered years of deceit, intimidation and other misconduct by the sheriff’s top commanders and led to the resignations of Chief Deputy David Hendershott and Deputy Chief Larry Black.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who assembled an investigative team to examine Arpaio’s commanders, also recommended that Arpaio fire a third employee, Capt. Joel Fox.

It is unclear whether federal prosecutors received an unredacted copy of the report.

Either way, federal prosecutors generally cannot use information gathered from the three commanders during the administrative investigation against them.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona declined to comment.

Since December 2009, a federal grand jury has met periodically to examine allegations of abuse of power by Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and their employees. Federal prosecutors are still gathering information in the case and FBI special agents continue to interview county leaders, nailing down timelines and following new leads.

Valley Christian Community Center

Valley Christian Community Center, Phoenix, AZ needs help with serving the homeless. There is a dire need of the following items for distribution:

Hygiene items, i.e., toothbrushes/toothpaste, deodorant (men/women), shaving cream, women shaving gear, shampoo, body lotion, hand/bath soap, toilet paper, paper towels, slightly used (or new) but clean hand/bath towels, diapers, size 2, 3, 4, 5, hand can openers, light blankets, light, washable sleeping bags

Rebecca Castro, Center Director, can be reached at Valley Christian Community Center1326 W. Hadley (15th Avenue and Hadley) Phoenix, AZ 602-799-8699

Arizona Organizing Project

Arizona Organizing Project – Serving the homeless needs blankets. Please bring them to the Arizona Organizing Project office at 125 N. 11th Avenue. Located between Adams and Van Buren on the East side of 11th Avenue in a historic old home.

Contact George Roundy, Executive Director, Arizona Organizing Project
602-768-2520

Forces for Good

“Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High Impact Non-Profits” by Leslie Crutchfield & Heather McLeod Grant a book of 12 non-profit organizations selected by a survey of nearly 3,000 non-profit CEO’s & 60 expert interviews, highlights the National Council of La Raza as one of the best non-profit organizations in the U.S. For more information g to www.forcesforgood.net.

Beyond El Barrio

Beyond El Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America by Frank Guridy, Adrian Burgos, and Gina Perez . Freighted with meaning, “el barrio” is both place and metaphor for Latino populations in the United States. Beyond El Barrio features new scholarship that critically interrogates how Latinos are portrayed in media, public policy and popular culture, as well as the material conditions in which different Latina/o groups build meaningful communities both within and across national affiliations. Drawing from history, media studies, cultural studies, and anthropology, the contributors illustrate how despite the hypervisibility of Latinos and Latin American immigrants in recent political debates and popular culture, the daily lives of America’s new “majority minority” remain largely invisible and mischaracterized.
Taken together, these essays provide analyses that not only defy stubborn stereotypes, but also present novel narratives of Latina/o communities that do not fit within recognizable categories. In this way, this book helps us to move “beyond el barrio”: beyond stereotype and stigmatizing tropes, as well as nostalgic and uncritical portraits of complex and heterogeneous range of Latina/o lives.