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.