Austin, Logan Flake plead not guilty in dog deaths

November 14, 2014

More drama on the way?

When you are solely responsible for a kennel filled with nearly two dozen dogs entrusted by their owners to your care, and those dogs die agonizing heat-related suffocation deaths in a small windowless utility room, sans air conditioning —- with neither food nor water available —- entering a plea of not guilty to the charges seems reasonable. 

That is, if you’re Austin and Logan Flake, the son and daughter-in-law of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake.

Logan’s parents, vacationing in Florida, left the couple in charge of the kennel they owned. The twosome appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court with their lawyer and entered their pleas to the charges Thursday. They each face 21 felony and seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after being indicted by a grand jury last month. Neither of the Flake’s sought any emergency veterinarian help, instead opting to hose down the dead and dying pets in an attempt to revive them.

Logan Flake’s parents Todd and MaLeisa Hughes separately pleaded not guilty in October to 22 felony charges and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, along with one felony count of fraudulent schemes and artifices.

Our best guess?  Logan will be pregnant by their next court appearance Jan. 2, 2015.  What better way of gaining sympathy and deflecting attention away from dead dogs than a human baby?  Few will forget Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s obnoxious press conference where he noted that the dead dogs “weren’t 23 children,” after all.  The Flake’s presumably can process guidance.

We’ve covered the late June horrific event numerous times. With so much lag time this one and this other, serve to bring readers up to speed.

Yesterday’s raw courtroom video courtesy of Channel 3.


“An Election About Everything”

November 4, 2014

Congressional, statewide and legislative district elections take place today. Propositions are on the ballot. Vote your values! There will not be a do-over

Today’s election is as important as most of us have encountered in our lifetimes. The national midterms will, without a doubt, determine the future of our country. Charles Krauthammer was on “The Kelly File” discussing the  impact of the midterm elections underway today. “This is a referendum on Obama’s hyper-liberalism,” he said. “This is liberalism on trial.”

Stephen Hayes, writing for the Weekly Standard, calls it “An Election About Everything.”

“It’s about the size and scope of government. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the security of the citizenry. It’s about competence. It’s about integrity. It’s about honor.  It’s about an electorate determined to hold someone responsible for the policy failures that have defined this administration and the scandals that have consumed it—even if many in the fourth estate will not.

And it’s about time,” Hayes rightly concluded.

His single-page commentary is insightful and concise. His analysis is definitely worth your time.

Today of all days. 


Montgomery asks 9th Circuit to keep law denying bond to criminal illegals

October 25, 2014

Next step: Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is asking a federal appeals court to delay the implementation of a recent ruling that allows illegal aliens who are charged with a serious felony to be released on bail. In an emergency motion filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Montgomery requested that the matter be returned to the district court to consider the possible dangers of releasing suspected criminals who pose a flight risk. He also argues that the appeals court ruling in Lopez-Valenzuela v. Arpaio will force Arizona courts to reconsider bail determinations for hundreds of pending criminal trials and overturn a law Arizona voters passed by an overwhelming margin in 2006. Proposition 100 passed 1,170,961 – 332,461 as a Constitutional Amendment.

“In requesting the case to be remanded to the Arizona District Court, we are seeking a fair opportunity to present objective evidence in support of upholding the no bail provision implemented by Proposition 100,” Montgomery said. “Rather than jettison an Arizona Constitutional provision in effect for eight years, the next step should be to resolve the issue of whether Arizona’s interest in detaining without bail serious offenders who are unlawfully present is based on objective data. Respect for federalism, the Tenth Amendment, and the realities of the environment in which Arizona must address public safety concerns call for a full and fair opportunity to present the facts,” he added.

If a stay of the appeals court ruling is not granted, Montgomery will prepare a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the opinion.


Indicted! Austin & Logan Flake, Todd & MaLeisa Hughes

October 16, 2014

Felony & misdemeanor charges filed against Sen. Jeff Flake’s son Austin, wife Logan and her parents

Four long months after the heat-related, suffocation deaths of nearly two dozen dogs at a Gilbert kennel, the owners and caretakers have been charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. An indictment was handed down Wednesday by a Maricopa County Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury should be commended for diligently considering the evidence and doing the job it was impaneled to do —- conducting its business, without regard to politics.

Todd Hughes the owner of the boarding facility, has been a bad actor throughout this despicable saga, lying about the number of dogs involved and initially claiming they merely ran away. The story was later changed to cast blame on the dogs themselves by alleging one or more of the pets chewed through the air conditioning wiring. Hughes and his wife MaLeisa were vacationing out-of-state and left their daughter Logan, and son-in-law Austin, to oversee the care of the pets.

When the Flakes’ returned to the kennel the next day and witnessed the horrific scene, they callously hosed down the dying dogs in a crude attempt to cool them. The carcasses of the dogs were then piled in a storage shed. No professional veterinarians were called to help.

The dogs sweltered to death, packed together  in a steamy utility room, lacking air-conditioning, and without food or water provided for them.

After deputies responded to a call the morning of June 21, 2014, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office launched an extensive investigation and submitted its findings to the County Attorney’s Office on August 27, 2014.  This is Montgomery’s Sept. 10, follow-up press conference. (Courtesy of KTVK-TV3)

The indictment charges Todd and MaLeisa Hughes with 22 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, and one felony count of fraudulent schemes and artifices. Austin and Logan Flake are each charged with 21 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

A hearing for the four defendants is scheduled Oct. 23, 2014.

Seeing Red AZ has covered the deaths of the pets in these posts:

Oct. 13, 2014: Bill Montgomery: Focus of daily’s sarcastic jab remains inert

Sept. 29, 2014: Still awaiting Montgomery’s Flake decision

Sept. 19, 2014: Bill Montgomery: Between a Flake and a hard place

July 17, 2014: 21 dead dogs inconsequential as Flake connection gets cover-up

June 27, 2014: AZ Republic uses dead dogs to bash Arpaio, give pass to Flake & Update


Bill Montgomery: Focus of daily’s sarcastic jab remains inert

October 13, 2014

Ten days ago, the Arizona Republic’s tabloid style insert ran an ironic cover report titled, “No VIP treatment” detailing the handling of arrested “celebrities” in Phoenix. It continues to a jump page which boldly declares, “No one is a celebrity in handcuffs.”

The list details the arrests of actors, a fitness guru, athletes and musicians. 

Missing is any mention of relatives of politicians.

Also MIA is the usually loquacious Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery.

After a lengthy and intense investigation —- even consulting with out-of-state experts, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office recommended criminal prosecution on 23 felony animal neglect charges against Todd and MaLeisa Hughes and their daughter and son-n-law Logan and Austin Flake. The Hughes’ were on vacation leaving the incompetent Flake’s as caretakers at the Green Acre kennel where nearly two dozen dogs died agonizing deaths, suffocating in the small, steamy utility room in which they were crammed together without food, water or cool air in the scorching heat of June 21.

Frustrated pet owners and the Valley community are weary of the stalling tactics, as County Attorney Bill Montgomery tries his damnedest to obfuscate, deflect and, yes,  figure out a method to ditch this political albatross altogether.

Bringing charges against Sen. Jeff Flake’s son, daughter-in-law and her parents, does not fit into Montgomery’s long-range career goals.

Meanwhile, the preventable deaths which the family initially lied about, occurred months ago and not a word has been heard on the subject from Montgomery since his insulting press conference where he noted that the dead dogs “weren’t 23 children,” after all.

On Sept. 10, Montgomery said it would take a “couple of weeks” for him to come to a decision regarding whether there was sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. Since he’s made numerous endorsements this election cycle, the fallout of his decision could have negative blowback on the hapless candidates he’s thrown his support behind. It would not be surprising if that consideration looms large as the motive for his inertia.

Montgomery has sent the investigative report back to the sheriff’s office. In the meantime, he’s hoping we’ve all developed cases of amnesia.

Few political observers will forget how the self-promoting Montgomery displayed his vile penchant for derision as he turned his back on his former benefactor Joe Arpaio, insulting the man who helped him fundraise during his campaign for Maricopa County Attorney. County Supervisor Don Stapley, hardly a paragon of virtue himself, had the presence of mind to tape record Montgomery as he was more than willing to insult the sheriff* while pimping himself for an interim appointment to the county attorney post that was never in the cards.  

It’s time for Bill Montgomery to proceed with this case. As much as he might wish otherwise, an amnesia epidemic has not overtaken the Valley.

* H/T Phoenix New Times


5th Circuit Court lets TX close most abortion clinics

October 3, 2014

We often express our disappointment in the far left rulings emanating from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which has appellate jurisdiction over legal issues in Arizona and eight other states plus two territorial courts. This court is not only the nation’s largest, but also the most overturned.

But today we applaud the ruling of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court —- with an entirely different makeup —- allowing Texas to immediately begin enforcing new abortion restrictions that will close all but seven abortion facilities in America’s second most-populous state. 

Republican Gov. Rick Perry has noted Texas’ 2013 law HB 2,  was designed to protect women’s health.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is consistently polling high in the race for governor, has led the defense of the law. Abbott released a statement saying, “This decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women.”

Abbot’s gubernatorial opponent is Democrat Wendy Davis, who launched her campaign riding the notoriety she achieved during a nearly 13-hour filibuster last June that temporarily blocked the law in the state Senate. Not only did she don running shoes and a back brace during her marathon performance, she was also equipped with a catheter, allowing her to stay on the floor since trips to the restroom were disallowed.

A decision by Judge Jennifer Elrod in the case Whole Woman’s Health, et al v. David Lakey, et al  in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has lifted the district court’s injunction, allowing HB 2 to immediately go into effect.


Still awaiting Montgomery’s Flake decision

September 29, 2014

A contortionist is described as a performer who peculiarly twists his body for the entertainment of others.

Minus the amusement factor, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is beginning to resemble such a nimble acrobat as he attempts to maneuver an end to the case of animal abuse resulting in the gruesome heat related deaths of nearly two dozen dogs. They died while supposedly in the care of Austin and Logan Flake at a Gilbert kennel on June 20.

Such a move would not serve him well. Twenty-one pet owners have joined together in filing a civil suit against four defendants. Besides the Flakes, Todd and MaLesia Hughes, Logan Flake’s mother and stepfather, are named in the suit.

On June 23, Sheriff Joe Arpaio promised a full investigation of the deaths. After an extensive three-month examination of facts, which included veterinarian performed necropsies on some of the dogs, the sheriff’’s office recommended 21 felony charges of animal neglect and cruelty in connection with mistreatment of the pets resulting in death by suffocation. The dogs were crammed in a laundry room without air-conditioning, food or water. When the dead and dying dogs were discovered, the Flakes did not call for veterinary assistance, opting to hose down the dogs and then callously pile their carcasses in a shed.

Arpaio, a champion of animals, has had an Animal Crimes Investigations Unit as part of his office for over a decade. “I’m very confident we have the proper evidence for a conviction,” the sheriff said.

At a Sept. 10 press conference Montgomery exhibited raw insensitivity to the grieving pet owners as he provided insight as to his bent. “This isn’t to cheapen or minimize the loss of the pets to the families,” Montgomery said. “But we’re not talking about the deaths of 23 children.” 

The kennel owners Todd and MaLesia Hughes were on vacation and left the animals in the care of their daughter Logan and her husband Austin.  Austin is the son of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake —- a man the politically ambitious Montgomery does not want as an enemy. 

Numerous lies were initially told by the Hughes and Flakes, including that a dog chewed through the air conditioner’s power cord after the Flakes left the facility for the night. Owners were also told their pets had run away. No evidence supported the claims.

We are now just two days away from the beginning of October, months away from the blazingly hot June day. Montgomery remains mute. 

Bill Montgomery: Between a Flake and a hard place,” providing insight into the political aspects of his silence, was dated ten days ago.


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