Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson Appears to Have Lied to KOLD About Last Week's Computer Breach

Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson gave a specific reason for why his elections operator broke a cabinet security seal and attached an ethernet cable to the elections tabulation computer. We know this because KOLD's Barbara Grihalva stated on October 28th:
"Now we're told the worker had gone into the cabinet yesterday to zero out the machine so real ballots can start to be counted today."
We can deduce that Brad Nelson gave this reason for the breach. Especially when he told Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller the same thing.  The only problem is that the tabulation computer was zeroed out at 10:31 AM, which is just after the Logic and Accuracy test. The election worker broke into the tabulation computer much later that day at 3:03 PM.

You could see it at the following link:


Should this page disappear, click here for a capture in pdf format.

We welcome any open source style of investigation to reaffirm or disprove what we are looking at.  Feel free to weigh in at the comment section below.

In the interim, enjoy Barbara Grihalva's new low in 'nothing to see here' style of reporting.  She had brushed aside AUDIT AZ's John Brakey (the citizen who discovered the breach in the first place and immediately contacted Brad Nelson) to get her information from Brad Nelson and the two party election observers who never saw it happen. 

 Tucson News Now

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chuck Huckelberry Claims RTA Investigation Was the Result of "a Conspiracy Theorist"

Chuck Huckelberry's "Conspiracy Theorist"
We can guess Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is referring to John Brakey, who caught them fiddling with another bond election last Thursday.  Yesterday they locked the observation room to prevent anyone (especially Brakey) from seeing the monitor that is prominently displayed for the purpose of transparently showing to the public the electronic procedures in the tabulation room.   Quite an admission of guilt considering the public service Brakey had provided last Thursday.  He had informed Brad Nelson about his nine-year employee breaking a seal and inserting an ethernet cable into what was intended to be a stand-alone machine.  Nelson was obligated to call the more docile, innocuous elections observers back so they can redo the Logic and Accuracy Test.  He should be grateful because that is consistent with his excuse that the breach was an accident.  Of course, he isn't grateful because it was obviously no accident.

Enough with the present shenanigans.  Let's take a look at how Chuck Huckelberry attempts to revise the past:

Pima County Administrator's recent letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Star:

Attorney general tallied every RTA ballot by hand

Re: the Oct. 27 letter “Is Miller correct about ’06 RTA election?”

This responds to a recent letter to the editor asking whether Supervisor Ally Miller is correct that there was never any verification of the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election. Supervisor Miller is incorrect. A conspiracy theorist suggested the county flipped the 2006 RTA election. After an investigation by the Arizona attorney general, who hand-counted every ballot cast for that election, the results were the same. A complete hand count of every ballot by the Arizona attorney general is the best verification that these election results were correctly reported. To suggest otherwise is simply political grandstanding with the intent to deceive and mislead voters.

Our response:

Huckelberry: If it was a "conspiracy theorist" that caught your Elections Division rigging the RTA election, why would you then spend millions of taxpayers' dollars after Goddard's recount to prevent a simple forensic exam of the ballots?

Goddard alleged in his press conference that they did such a good job, they found 63 additional ballots. Evidently, this was supposed to distract the public from the fact their count was missing four precincts' worth of ballots.

Goddard's investigation was so bad it garnered national attention on the Mike Malloy show once it was discovered that over a third of the poll tapes (that Goddard refused to inspect) were missing.

The missing poll tapes strongly correspond with electronic records of the RTA election showing memory card re-uploads characteristic of an attempt to pre-program memory cards.

From the perspective of a statistical analysis, one only has to consider the odds for the same precincts experiencing the same re-upload errors correlating to the same missing poll tapes.

Goddard had also refused to perform a forensic exam of the ballots, despite a previous move by the county to compromise court evidence. On the day of his press conference, Goddard acknowledged to the public on the John C. Scott show that he was aware of Pima County violating a court order by compromising evidence in the county vault.

Adding to the need for a forensic exam, court testimony indicated that no adequate protection of the stored RTA ballots took place until a court order was issued in 2011.

Attorney General Terry Goddard clearly moved beyond what is considered 'executive discretion' and served in some capacity to ensure Pima County's right to commit election fraud.

For more information:



Time for Huckelberry to step down.

Pima County’s History of Rigging Bond Elections: Full Wake Up Tucson Coverage

Thursday, October 29, 2015

John Brakey on Wake Up Tucson: Pima County Tried to Rig Another Bond Election

This is what cheating with impunity looks like.  Yesterday and nine years after the RTA debacle, an employee at the Pima County Elections Division broke into a sealed part of the central tabulator to hook up an ethernet connection. This occurred after the Logic and Accuracy (L&A) Test was completed and seals were placed prominently on the vulnerable parts of the system.  Since live video feeds show a running total of the number of viewers during transmission, they probably did it when Pima County's video feed left the impression that no one was looking.  This, of course, was hours after John Brakey had left the observation room.  Brakey drove five minutes from his house, spent a couple of hours writing and emailing a number of people about the L&A Test and, by habit, hit the hot link to the election department's live feed.  Moments later, he was watching the act take place before him.

Elections employee breaking the seal (he's worked there 10 years).
John Brakey discussed this incident this morning on the local AM radio show, "Wake Up Tucson".

The following is Brakey's letter to the Secretary of State:

          Michele Reagan
          Arizona Secretary of State

I am an experienced, well trained election observer for three political committees and at least one or more nonpartisan candidates on the Nov 3 ballot. (On bottom have listed groups)
On the morning of Tuesday, Oct 27, I observed the logic and accuracy test at Pima County Elections (PCE).   After the testing was done (about 11am) I went to my home office to write a report of my observation and concerns in this election.  I turned on the live video feed and had it playing on my Samsung flat screen tv.  For several hours as I was writing my report, I saw no activity at PCE.  After I finished my report I emailed at 2:56 pm.  At about 3:00 pm, I notice two men who earlier were part of the L & A test enter the room.  At about 3:03 pm, I took the attached picture of an employee of ten years removing a security seal, and connecting ethernet cables. 
The second person turned on the computer. I could see that he went into a program I had observed earlier that day called ES&S “Election Reporting Manager” (ERM).
At this point I called some friends thinking that this could not be true.  Maybe there were party observers out of camera range.  After several more minutes passed, PCE Director Brad Nelson entered the room and sat on a chair right next to the man on the computer. Mr. Nelson had to have seen that the door to the computer cage was wide open (as seen in picture above).
 No sound comes through the feed but I could see that Brad said something and then started spinning around in the chair acting happy.

 After a few more minutes of trying to figure out what to do, I decided to go and see for myself what was going on.  I live about five minutes from Pima County Elections. When I got to the public observers’ door, it was locked.
I then noticed that Mr. Nelson now was with several other gentlemen on the Westside corner of PCE. I approached him and ask if I could talk to him. I than asked him if was there anything wrong with the live video feed.

He said no and explained to me quickly how it worked.

I then said, “well look at this” and I showed him my smart phone picture of his guy breaking the seal and illegally entering computer cage that holds the Election Management System’s computers that were previously sealed.  I have video of that procedure.
Mr. Nelson acted surprised and said for me to wait from him at the public observers’ door while he figures out what’s going on.
After about 25 minutes, Mr. Nelson returned and told me that he has already called the party observers and that a mistake was made and that the L & A test will be redone at 8:00 AM.
I know that he was dishonest with me. Mr. Nelson had to have known when he entered the room that protocol was violated. One could not have missed this obvious breach under his supervision and in such close proximity.  
I hope that the above information warrants a proper investigation. We are concerned and there are other serious issues that the Secretary of State’s office should investigate with us.
Additionally, I wanted to mention that I deeply appreciate your prompt work last week addressing the issue of verifying elections and hand count audits in Pima County. 
Please help us make sure that election are true and accurate .
Respectfully yours,
John R Brakey, of AUDIT-AZ & Special task force leader for Citizens Oversight for Verifiable Elections:
JohnBrakey@gmail.com  520 578 5678 Cell 520 339 2696
Gini Crawford, Chair of the “Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds”   Email: GiniCrawford54@gmail.com
John Kromko, Chair of Tucson Traffic Justice”,                        Email: jkromko@dakotacom.net
Ignacio Gomez, Chair of the “No on the Sunnyside Override” Committee Email: TheYaquiTrader@live.com

of Citizens Oversight for Verifiable Elections, COVE: To restore public ownership and oversight of elections, as per the Arizona constitution; to protect the “purity of elections”, “run by the people”.  This will ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently verifiable audited election process. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

An Open Letter to the Pima County Board of Supervisors and Its Elections Department

 Mission of Citizens Oversight for Verifiable Elections, COVE: To restore public ownership and oversight of elections, as per the Arizona constitution; to protect the “purity of elections”, “run by the people”.  This will ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently verifiable audited election process. 
Chair of PCBOS Sharon Bronson
130 W. Congress, 11th Floor, Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 724-8051 Email: district3@pima.gov  

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez                                                                             OPEN LETTER                         
240 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson AZ 85701
(520) 724-4350  Email: fann@recorder.pima.gov 

Brad Nelson, (CERA) Elections Director
6550 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85756
Phone: (520) 724-6830 Email: Brad.Nelson@pima.gov 
Monday, October 04, 2015

Dear Honorable Sharon Bronson, Chair PCBOS, County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez and Election Director Brad Nelson:
    We are pleased to announce that we have formed a coalition called “COVE” which stands for Citizens Oversight for Verifiable Elections.  At this point in time we have three committees members which are Gini Crawford, Chair of the “Taxpayers Against Pima Bonds, John Kromko Chair of Tucson Traffic Justice and Ignacio Gomez, Chair of the “No on the Sunnyside Override”.   We also expect to have several of the four certified legit non-partisan candidates from Oro Valley's recall joining COVE and naming our observers.  We expect our observers to have the same rights and respect that you give the two political party observers.  As you know most of the candidates and issues on the ballot are non-partisan.
   Our members are invoking their rights as “a political committee” and/or “nonpartisan” under ARS 16-621 Proceedings at the counting center, “Excerpt from section A”. …and shall be conducted in accordance with the approved instructions and procedures manual provided for in section 16-452 under the observation of representatives of each political party and the public. The proceedings at the counting center may also be observed by up to three additional people representing a candidate for nonpartisan office, or representing a political committee in support of or in opposition to a ballot measure, proposition or question….”  
    Here’s a link to the history of what happened in that case back in the 2006 RTA Bond Election titled “Elections remain compromised” which cost taxpayers several million dollars in litigation and left the voters wondering if their vote “really counts”. The only solution is to have a verifiable election.
    We at “COVE” support the Pima County Election Integrity Commission letter to Sharon Branson Chair BOS, dated September 28, 2015, advising minimal hand count audits that they hope to have in the November Election.  However, we must point out that this does not resolve the Vote by Mail problem of being unverifiable: video Mickey Duniho, (see problem below).
    Your own Pima County Election Integrity Commission has been proposing solutions that "you’ve been ignoring for years".  We refer to the April 17, 2015 letter from PCEIC to BOS titled, “Recommendation to Use Ballot Images to Enhance Early Ballot Audit”, and the letter dated July 18, 2014, to the BOS “Recommendation for Early Ballot Sorting by Precinct on Early Ballots”.
    There is nothing in state law to prelude the County from doing a voluntary hand count”.  Tom Ryan, Chair Pima Co. Election Integrity Commission.
    The big problem we see where the ballots could be gamed with impunity is in the Vote by Mail (VBM) in the November General Election which is about 80% of the votes.  VBM ballots are not sorted by precinct except inside the central 'hackable' tabulator that could easily be preprogrammed only hack ballot batches over a certain size, thus avoiding the random testing done by audit batches pulled for hand counting. That's why the Volkswagen case is so meaningful to elections transparency activists, WV rigged the testing.  “…the cheating was preprogrammed into the algorithm that controlled the car’s emissions.  Computers allow people to cheat in ways that are new.  Because the cheating is encapsulated in software, the malicious actions can happen, far removed from the testing itself.  Because the software is "smart" in ways that normal objects are not, the cheating can be subtler and harder to detect.”
    “That's why we must have software verification with two parts: Transparency and Oversight” which as we know in Arizona, neither exist. “Transparency means making the source code available for analysis. The need for this is obvious.  It's much easier to hide cheating software in the manufacturer's code. Cheating on regulatory testing has a long history in corporate America.” By CNN Bruce Schneier:  "VW scandal could just be the beginning”.   
    According to AUDIT-AZ longtime attorney and friend Bill Risner: “Every study of the security of computer voting systems has identified insiders such as company employees and or vendors and election department employees as the primary security risks.  These same vendors when having their software certified, instructed the test labs "NOT" to check the software for security.”   Video Bill Risner in Court:

    The solution is simple: Pima County’s new ES&S central count scanners, the EVS 5200 makes a digital image of both sides of each ballot. These digital ballots have a bar code and precinct number that can be sorted by precincts and counted. We know of several companies that have software that can sort and read the digital images that work in elections. However, the gold standard is hand marked paper ballots that are hand counted.  We recommend printing and counting the digital VBM ballots and then taking a "statistically assured" random group verification to the original ballots that are stored in numbered batches. Here’s a short video depicting digital ballots from Dane County in Wisconsin, where they used an older version of the EVS 5200 called the DS200 as a way to verify voting machines output with digitally imaged ballots as shown.

    Again by utilizing the existing election laws:  “ARS Title 16 – Elections and Electors", the Arizona Secretary of State Election Procedures Manual Revised 2014, to download the entire manual here, or link it to specific pdf pages below in this manual.  As political party, candidates, and as electors, we invoke our rights to the following positions, and request that the named party oversight designates be given prior significant constructive notice in writing & verbally, to invoke oversight, before these boards meet.   Each of these boards shall consist of at least two members, and shall be registered voters of the parties on the ballots cast.    Each board’s responsibilities shall be as provided in SOS manual:

                  & Citizens Observers                      *      snag board
                  L & A testing                                   *     duplication board
                  receiving board                               *     inspection board
                  write-in board                                  *     accuracy certification board
                  data processing board                    *     audit board

   The Persons noted below are designated as Observers for the counting of the early ballots, the General Elections ballots of November, and until all votes are counted.   Also, these persons have authority under ARS 16-571 to visit precincts. 
     Mickey Duniho, John R Brakey, Ally Miller, Richard Hernandez, Sergio Arellano-Oros, Paul Hilts, Jonathan Salvatierra, and others, to be trained and named later.
    The first Chairman of the Federal Election Assistance Commission, the Rev. DeForest Soaries, appointed by George W. Bush as the first chair of the commission created by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), otherwise known as the “Hack America Vote Act”, in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle, stated in Oct of 2006: "We know more today about how to build a machine to take pictures of rocks on Mars than we know about how to build a machine to safeguard the American right to vote.”  Read what else Rev. DeForest Soaries has to say.
    Today, thanks to the work of election transparency activists, scientists & statisticians, Secretary of State Debra Bowen of California, in 2006 called for:  Top to Bottom review on voting system.  From citizens on commissions like PCEIC, universities, and their reports generated, we now know that these machines must NOT be trusted.  This short video of 8 minutes, gives the best overview, and is right on the money in every respect, when it comes to electronic voting --- be it via touch-screen computers, or paper ballot optical-scan systems. 
    Ronald Reagan said it best; “Trust but Verify!”   Conversely, No Verify, means NO TRUST!  The Board of Supervisors actions on this matter will show the citizens of Pima County whose side you’re on?
    On a closing note: Please demonstrate by action that this is not true in Pima County. History teaches us that elections without public accountability are nothing more than vote-counting in the dark, controlled by a county government, in the act of choosing itself and its cronies, while picking our pockets.  Our message is simple: “We the People”, must have elections that are 100% transparent, that are completely verifiable, with a documented ‘chain-of-custody’, followed by mandatory election verification!  Nothing less!
  Government can never be the sole verifier of its own secret elections.
    Respectfully yours,
   John R Brakey
John R. Brakey of Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency, Arizona & Special task force leader for Citizens Oversight for Verifiable Elections.
JohnBrakey@gmail.com        520 578 5678 Cell 520 339 2696

Friday, July 17, 2015

Election fraud is Real! Jonathan Simon author of CODE RED Memory Cards are Easily Rigged

John Brakey

Election fraud is Real!


Author of CODE RED: Jonathan Simon
simply explains in this short video:

It’s now been 13 years since “HAVA” Help America Vote Act gave states $3.9 billion in subsidies to modernize their voting rolls and election equipment, which resulting in installing Hackable electronic voting machines. As of 2012, 95 percent of the country’s voters were voting on electronic touch-screen machines, or on optical scanners. Computer programming is the province of small elite private programmers and/or corporations who work in the shadows beyond the reach of public records request: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2015/03/william-e-doyle-hidden-de-facto.html

All theses electronic voting machines use programs that enjoy copyright protection from public scrutiny, not secure from hacking and there is ample evidence that voting machines can be hacked and here is ours in Arizona! Attorney Bill Risner disclosure statement filed with court Jan 12, 2012, which is a mind blowing, comprehensive statement of facts collected over many years of investigating and litigation of Pima County: http://tinyurl.com/LPFiling

In Tucson, AZ we won 3 court cases to collect the evidence; nevertheless at the end, after 8 years, they would not allow us to present the evidence in court. Pima County Elections programmed the memory cards to rig the outcome of a $2 billion bond election in May 2006. I refer you to this summary article after the Maricopa Appellate Court denied our appeal: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2014/07/elections-remain-compromised.html

Also please watch this short video that shows how the precincts’ memory cards can be pre-stuffed with votes and still produce a zero tape before the 1st ballot is ever counted: http://youtu.be/tYbC9KtGxSg

The Diebold, GEMS/AccuVote machine that in 2012 was in use in 20 states by more than 26 million voters was hacked into by a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, which concluded that anyone with $26 in parts and an eighth-grade science education could manipulate the outcome of an election, according to Collier. Team leader Roger Johnson called it a “national security issue.” Want proof? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMw2dn6K1oI

From the May 31, 2015 forum in New York you can get a great overview from these outstanding panelists: Bob Fitrakis (Ohio shenanigans in the presidential elections and how they were thwarted in 2012). Jonathan Simon (voting machines, and, YES, they’re used to steal elections). Mark Crispin Miller (the media’s role in this). Allegra Dengler (NYS’s voting machines). Victoria Collier (40 years of electoral shenanigans documented by her father and uncle, and how to engage young people). Complete video: https://youtu.be/hbBE3qZUgJc

Our current investigation is on The 'Doyle Anomaly in Arizona!' One guy, “William E. Doyle”, looks to be the Hidden De Facto Statewide Election Director for the last 25 years: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2015/03/william-e-doyle-hidden-de-facto.html

History teaches us that elections without public accountability are nothing more than vote-counting in the dark, controlled by a government in the act of choosing itself and its cronies, while picking our pockets. Our message is simple: “We the People”, must have elections that are 100% transparent, with documented ‘checks and balances’ and ‘chain-of-custody’, followed by mandatory election verification! Nothing less! Government can never be the sole verifier of its own secret elections. I bought 20 copies of CODE RED last September and gave them to my co plaintiffs and others in the San Cruz County Public Records case that we won:

Link to CODE RED: http://codered2014.com/

John Roberts Brakey of Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency, Arizona AUDITAZ@cox.net



clip how voting machine’s memory cards can be programmed to switch votes. Video excerpt from a Panel Discussion on Computerized Vote Theft and the Subversion of Democracy. May 31, 2015 at John Jay College, New York, New York:



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Flashback: 2008's False Arrest of John Brakey Unearths a Myriad of Hand Count Audit Deficiencies

J.T. Waldron

Seven years later, Pima County is still being choked by the stranglehold of a majority of supervisors who have overstayed their welcome.   They remain thanks to an entrenched bureaucratic structure that could easily reward their compliance with additional reelections.  Elections are still run in this county by the same bureaucrats, the same elections director and the same operatives posing as political party officials.  Ultimately, we discovered how their activities run in concert with a national top down agenda that is predetermined and realized through the vendors.  Those cancerous black-box industry cartels manage to glom onto key functions in every municipal elections division.  That outcome of this forced agenda has a peculiar likeness to the green mask of United Nations' Agenda 21, the feel good way for a bankrupt nation to forfeit its sovereignty. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

William E. Doyle, the Hidden De Facto Statewide Election Director

John Brakey
The 'Doyle Anomaly'!  On December 3, 2014 after we won our Santa Cruz County Court case we received the requested public records, we learned about the role William E Doyle plays in Arizona elections. We call him the Hidden De Facto Statewide Election Director because he controls the backdoor of most of Arizona’s 15 county elections. He is able to do so by programming the county’s election databases and/or by having access to the Election Day phone modem number that’s upload precinct results to a central tabulator on election nights. In the November 2006 election all but 3 of Pima County’s 400 precincts were reloaded on election night twice within minutes of each other. That election included the Senate race between Sen. John Kyle and Peterson, $27 million was spent on that campaign. Pima County disconnected their phone modems by 2008.

So is William E Doyle the “one guy” who controls the backdoor for a “man in the middle attack” election hack system that is not supposed to exist in Arizona elections? Since 2003 he has programmed the databases for many of the 11 Arizona counties that use Diebold equipment and for Election Services & Software (ES&S) in Cochise, Graham and Pinal Counties. Doyle also assists in the statewide election system. This explains why Santa Cruz County Election Director Melinda Meek committed perjury when she claimed she did the programming in house? The programming was not done in house; it was done by William E Doyle DBA Elections Operations Services located in Glendale, Arizona.  Meek openly in court under oath said when question by JOHN HOLMAN, Esq. Answers by Melinda Meek on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q. Okay. If I could draw your attention to have a look side by side at Exhibit 6 and also Exhibit 1, which on page 3 identifies that the ten itemized requests made by plaintiff Brakey. The response made by the county is that the document as requested does not exist. What do you mean by that, what's meant by that?

A. The one you're referring to, is that item --

Q. Item No. 1. We're going to go down the stream. Item No. 1?

A. So it's my understanding that in the public records request, as the item was requested, it does not exist.

Q. Okay. And why is that?

A. Because there is not one.

Q. Okay. And I guess just for the Court's benefit, what was being requested was an electronic copy of the contract with the vendor who programs the central county election computer and the AccuVote memory card, and you're saying that does not exist?

A. It doesn't exist because I do that myself, it's done in house.

Q. So there is no contract, there is no vendor that would satisfy --

A. in my opinion, no.

Short video on 'Man-in-the-Middle' of Ohio Vote Rigging and how it worked: https://youtu.be/JNNHSpM-Z-w  

October 30, 2014: The Curious Business of William E. Doyle. By J.T. Waldron: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-curious-business-of-william-e-doyle.html

October 21, 2014 Santa Cruz Judge Kimberly Corsaro Rules in Favor of the Plaintiffs Seeking Election Records . By J.T. Waldron: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2014/10/santa-cruz-judge-kimberly-corsaro-rules.html  

October 13, 2014 Santa Cruz Fulfills Data Request With an Altered Election Audit Log:  By J.T. Waldron: http://fatallyflawedelections.blogspot.com/2014/10/santa-cruz-fulfills-data-request-with.html  

History teaches us that elections without public accountability are nothing more than vote-counting in the dark, controlled by county and state government in the act of choosing itself and its cronies, while picking our pockets. Our message is simple: “We the People”, must have elections that are 100% transparent, with a documented ‘chain-of-custody’, followed by mandatory election verification! Nothing less! Government can never be the sole verifier of its own secret elections.

More on “Man in middle” The 'Connell Anomaly' Pt.1 https://youtu.be/fxuRM2Zs_t4  

And BUSTING the 'Man-in-the-Middle' of Ohio Vote Rigging – “Stephen Spoonamore” explains in detail how it done:  https://youtu.be/BRW3Bh8HQic  

John Roberts Brakey of Americans United for Democracy, Integrity, and Transparency, Arizona AUDITAZ@cox.net


County ordered to pay $38K for records delay. By Curt Prendergast of Nogales International: http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/county-ordered-to-pay-k-for-records-delay/article_e6743b18-cf14-11e4-9ddb-cf55e3fed268.html#user-comment-area

Sunday, March 8, 2015

El Rio Deal Culminates Into a Culprit Hearing for the City of Tucson and City Attorney Dennis P. McLaughlin

Last Friday, Judge Christopher Staring presided over a culprit hearing for Tucson's failure to disclose public records concerning the potential sale of  El Rio golf course to Grand Canyon University.   A culprit hearing allows a trial court to determine whether a party (The City of Tucson and City Attorney Dennis P. McLaughlin), as opposed to that party’s counsel (now Michael McCrory), is responsible for a disclosure or discovery violations.  The following summary was provided by Scott Egan, who also interviewed Plaintiff Cecilia Cruz and and Attorney Bill Risner after the hearing in the videos below: 
Not sure if my debut as a newscaster will win me any awards, but it was fun!

On the Albert Elias deposition on the GCU/El Rio Scam

In the lawsuit against the City of Tucson over access to public records regarding the sale of the El Rio public property to Grand Canyon University, a deposition was taken of Albert Elias, a long-term, top echelon entrenched bureaucrat in the City, who is supposedly being considered for appointment as the new city manager. His testimony, taken on October 14, 2014 and recorded by AuditAz (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9YgBxDMZw) reveals many disturbing factors swirling around Mr. Elias.

To begin with, Mr. Elias clearly takes credit for being the lead person on the GCU/El Rio deal. He states [57:34] that he and Chris Kaselemis “were the main people responsible” in the attempted sale. When attorney Bill Risner reponds “but you are above him” (Kaselemis) he answers “Yes.”

This attempt of a giant rip-off of public resources alone should disqualify him from any important position in public service, but as we have learned, in the City of Tucson such behavior is not only tolerated but awarded. In fact it seems that every bureaucrat that was involved in this corrupt deal has been either promoted or received a salary increase by the Mayor and Council.

Besides two years of blatant attempts by the City to ignore and violate Arizona state public document laws by illegally withholding public information (from both the public, the press, and the courts), another aspect of highly questionable legality concerns the phony appraisal the City had conducted in order to sell the property at below market value -- a violation of Arizona’s Gift Clause. Mr. Elias, by his own testimony, was directly responsible and “concurred” with the appraisal [38:34] which directed the appraiser to value the 100+ acres -- with hundreds beautiful trees covered in lush grass, with water and irrigation service, sewer and electric systems, a club house with a restaurant and a brand new center (built by the Conquistors for a kids program) and owned by the people of Tucson and maintained by their taxes -- this parcel the City wanted to value as a “vacant” lot to sell on the cheap. A great deal for the developers. Not so good for every other taxpayer in Tucson.

Although Mr. Elias admits that he was in charge of the City Real Estate Division and this project in particular, he claims he did not give direct instructions to low-ball the value of the land (we may never know who did), but he testifies that he was “aware” that the appraisal was based on a “hypothetical” assumption that the land was vacant. He states that he supported the appraisal because it was based on “the highest and best use of the subject property as if vacant, for future development and mixed use.” [49:48]

To which Risner says: “Of course, it wasn’t vacant.”

“Correct.” responds Elias.

Besides these troubling statements, and the numerous attempts of the city attorney representative to prevent further questioning of how the phony appraisal was initiated, Mr. Elias also (if he is telling the truth in the deposition) has extreme ignorance of the basic rules on public records and the responsibilities public service workers have to the public they are supposed to serve. Or perhaps he is just lying.

For example, Risner asks Elias [103:10] if he is “aware that when there is a request, or a lawsuit relating to records, that a legal hold is placed on those records?”

Answer: “NO.”

Riser: “So you are not familiar with the public records rule in Arizona law that if there is a litigation, while that litigation is pending the records sought would be held and not destroyed.”

Answer: “No I’m not aware of that.”

In fact, Mr. Elias, who has worked for the City for many years and held many high positions in the organization, does not seem to be aware that any records should be preserved when an employee leaves their employment with the city. (Let us hope that when Mr. Elias does eventually retire, he destroys all of “his” city-owned files in an environmentally friendly way).

Finally, Mr. Elias’ comments go even past the point of feigned or legitimate ignorance when asked about any notes that he or his staff may have taken in their meetings here in Tucson or in Phoenix with officials from G.C.U. If one is to believe him, City of Tucson staff never take any notes.

As Risner asks [1:23] “Isn’t it common for staff to take notes at meetings?”

“No,” says Elias. “That is not common.”

That must save a lot of paper. (Of course, if they never use paper they also must be on the lookout for burglars that surreptitiously enter locked council offices and steal council members computers without setting off alarms or any trace of forceable entry).

There are certainly other amazing aspects of this fascinating interview, (like the fact that the City Parks Department, who have responsibility for El Rio, were never even consulted on the deal) and I would encourage anyone who has an hour and half to spend to actually watch the whole episode.  That may seem like a long time, but if Albert Elias is selected as our new City Manager life is going to be a long, slow, and very ugly period for Tucson -- no matter how long he may survive in the position.

There is my two cents, and then some.

Scott D. Egan Chief Correspondent for ... uh, what’s the name again?
Video courtesy of John Brakey

Scott Egan's interview with Bill Risner

Scott Egan's interview with Ceci Cruz

Here is the full video of last Friday's culprit hearing:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Technicality May Bar Oro Valley Citizens from Voting on Purchase of El Conquistador Resort

KGun 9 actually covered the story:

John Brakey and Chuck Aubrey conduct an interview with Bill Risner.

And with plaintiff Debra Arret

And plaintiff Shirley Lamonna