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Author Archives: Gary Grado

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3 new appointees on clemency board; long-time chief out (access required)

Duane Belcher, chairman and executive director of the Arizona Board of Clemency, is on his way out after 20 years, as three new appointees take their places on the panel now made up entirely of Gov. Jan Brewer’s picks. Belcher’s departure, some observers say, creates a vacuum of experience and leadership. Belcher is also one of the last members left from a board that unanimously recommended in 2009 to reduce a life sentence for a man many believe is innocent of a double murder.

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Legislature reconsiders sweep of court automation fund (access required)

Legislative budget staffers are re-evaluating a proposed $10 million sweep of a Supreme Court fund after court officials howled that losing the money would cripple courts across Arizona. The legislative budget proposal targets the Supreme Court Automation Fund, which is supplied by fees for defensive-driving classes, time payment fees for people who make payments on their court fines, and surcharges on fines.

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Intense legal fight over proposed Glendale casino moves to 9th Circuit

The fight over whether a Southern Arizona tribe can build a massive casino near Glendale’s entertainment district moved to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday. The city is contesting a trial court’s decision to uphold the Department of Interior’s decision to create reservation land out of 54 acres of unincorporated land near 95th and Northern avenues. The Tohono O’odham tribe wants to turn the parcel into reservation land under the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act, a 1986 federal law that allowed the tribe to replace nearly 10,000 acres of land that was destroyed by flooding from the federally-built Painted Rock Dam.

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Thomas disbarred by disciplinary panel (access required)

A disciplinary panel disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his former deputy Lisa Aubuchon today, calling the former prosecutors unscrupulous, hypocritical and self-centered. A third former deputy, Rachel Alexander, was suspended for six months and one day.

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Attorney: Babeu’s ex-lover denies hacking allegations (access required)

Attorneys for the ex-boyfriend of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu proclaimed their client’s innocence today, saying he never hacked into the lawman’s campaign websites.

Adnan Horan, attorney for Jose Orozco, a Mexican citizen who claimed in a news article that Babeu threatened him with deportation after their relationship disintegrated, held a news conference announcing Orozco’s denial of any wrongdoing, but Orozco was absent and Horan answered few questions.

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