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-in-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