DID MIKE RANKIN COMMIT A HALF MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD ON TUCSON TAXPAYERS?

Satisfaction of Judgment in Gilmartin Case May Have Disguised Punitive Damages as “Attorney Fees” This is More Than the Appearance of Impropriety. It Appears to be a Criminal Theft of Public Funds.

CSII Press Tucson Arizona July 17, 2011 On May 18, 2011, after first expressing his concerns to the Tucson City Council regarding the possible theft of public funds to satisfy a 2 million dollar punitive damage judgment against former Tucson Police Chiefs Richard Miranda and Douglas Smith1 in a federal civil rights suit, Gilmartin, et. al. v. City of Tucson, et. al., political activist Roy Warden filed a public document request with the Tucson City Clerk, who sent the request to the Office of the Tucson City Attorney. For more than a month the City Attorney failed to respond. Then, on June 21, 2011 Warden again spoke to the council, asked “does the city attorney work for you or do you work for the city attorney” and threatened them with a lawsuit to compel disclosure under the provisions of A.R. S. Title 39. The result was a letter from Tucson City Attorney Dennis McLaughlin dated June 24, 2011 and a copy of a previously unpublished May 2008 secret agreement between Mike Rankin and famed local “Pro Raza” civil rights attorney Richard Martinez, who represented the Plaintiffs in the federal suit, titled “Settlement Agreement and Release.” “Now I understand just why Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin was so reluctant to turn this document over,” Warden said. “The ‘Settlement Agreement’ is an absolutely stunning document.” The Settlement Agreement was artfully put together.
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Assistant Police Chief Jesse Ochoa was a third Tucson employee held liable. 1

The lawyers put lipstick on the pig and dressed it up real good. But when you read through all the legalese and the obfuscation, one fact emerges crystal clear: none of the City Officials found liable in the suit paid a single penny of the 2 million dollar punitive damage award the judgment ordered them to pay. “The entire judgment was satisfied at tax payer expense,” Warden said. Moreover; subsequent to the jury verdict, former Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda was actually promoted to the office of Deputy Tucson City manager, at a significant increase in pay. In Arizona, a Plaintiff may only be awarded punitive damages against a government official when that official acts with an “evil hand guided by an evil mind” or otherwise “intends to injure or defraud or deliberately interferes with the rights of others.” By awarding 2 million dollars in punitive damages2, the federal jury sent a powerful message to the City of Tucson: we want these City Officials to personally pay for their intentional malfeasance and the harm they did to the Plaintiffs, to deter other public officials from engaging in the same sort of misconduct. And, by paying the entire verdict and promoting Miranda, the City of Tucson responded: “Federal judges and federal juries can’t touch us! Tucson Public Officials are above the law! We’ll use the public’s money to pay our individual obligations!” “I don’t know if it’s old fashioned cronyism or just another example of the ugliness of “Pro Raza” politics,3” said Warden. “But the whole deal stinks. I’ve called on the City Council to commence an immediate investigation.” Warden first began investigating allegations of malfeasance within the Office of Tucson City Attorney in 2004, beginning with the disastrous
Punitive damages against public officials, as a matter of law, must be personally paid by the malfeasant official.
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Richard Miranda is a member of the radical, “Pro-Raza” group “Chicanos por la Causa.”
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combining of the Water and Sewage Departments and the expensive separation of the departments two years later when it became known in Mergard v City of Tucson, a suit Warden helped to rewrite, that such combining, without statutory authority first granted by the Arizona Legislature, was unlawful. “Tucson Officials wanted more money. They combined the departments to coerce the citizens into paying a new garbage pickup fee, which previously had been paid out of the general fund. They said, ‘pay this new fee or we will cut off your water.’” After the water case, Warden glanced briefly at the Rio Nuevo mess before focusing his attention on the apparent use of public funds to unlawfully satisfy a punitive damage award of 2 million dollars in the Gilmartin case. “There is a foundational culture of corruption, a metastasizing cancer, which permeates every layer of Tucson City and Pima County Government,” says Warden. “At its’ core lies ‘good old boy politics’, a disdain for the public interest and twenty years of Cheap Mexican Labor, Pro-Raza, Open Border Policy.” “Tucson City and Pima County Officials don’t consider themselves to be ‘public servants.’ Instead, they think the purpose of the public is to serve them!” Warden concedes that until now Tucson City Attorney Mike Rankin has been skillful enough to talk his way out of trouble and (perhaps) to pull the wool over the Mayor and Council’s eyes time and time again. “Mike Rankin considers himself a smooth operator and a cunning linguist,” says Warden. “Let’s see if he can talk himself out of this one.” However; if the City Council fails to investigate Rankin and Miranda, Warden says he will file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General. Warden also says he will send a copy of the Settlement Agreement and a letter to Roslyn O. Silver, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court District of Arizona, and inquire, among other things, just why Tucson Public Officials are able to intentionally ignore a jury verdict and a court order that common citizens are forced to obey, under penalty of federal prosecution.
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“This is more than the appearance of impropriety. It appears to be preferential treatment extended to Tucson government officials who hold themselves above the law. It appears to be a criminal theft of more than half a million dollars of public funds,” said Warden. “The Tucson City Council has three weeks from the date of this article to commence an investigation. If they don’t I’m taking the entire matter to Tom Horne.” Roy Warden roywarden@hotmail.com For Reprint or Internet Re-Publication, Click Here cc: All subscribers to CSII Press, including 1,250 members of the bar, selected members of the Tucson Police Department, elected and appointed public officials, media, and members of political activist groups.

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