Maricopa Co. Supervisor Stapley indicted by grand jury

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azfamily.com

Don Stapley served 118 count indictment
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - He is charged with making laws and now he is charged with breaking them 118 times.

Nevertheless, some say Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley is just the latest in a line of high profile investigations that grab headlines and then go away.

Critics call it "Law enforcement by publicity." While Stapley's indictment is detailed in dozens of pages, it doesn't accuse him of fraud or theft or bribery.

At this point, some say his offense could be considered just an accounting error.

Over 39 pages and 118 counts, the indictment runs down the ways Don Stapley allegedly hid his private business and bank accounts from the public.

It charges the county supervisor with failing to disclose multi-million-dollar parcels of land, hundreds of thousands in cash, corporate leadership positions and other financial dealings.

But actually, there's one major inconsistency in the cases. Prosecutors alleged Renzi organized and voted for a federal land swap and got paid $1 million for it.

After an 8-month investigation, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have only accused Stapley of not reporting financial and business deals.

Plaintiff's Attorney Joel Robbins says the announcement of the indictment is all about public relations and not public information and he says it's nothing new.

In 2006, a sheriff's investigation led to a 25-count indictment of Maricopa school superintendent Sandra Dowling for theft and misusing money.

A judge said there was no evidence of a dime taken and dropped the charges.Since 2005, deputies have raided a Mesa towing business, accusing it of fraud and also three community college campuses. After 3 years, no one has ever been charged in either case.

Investigators say it could* mean something. As of now, they're still working.

The sheriff and county attorney say the indictment is just the first phase of the investigation and that the board of supervisors did make decisions over the past few years relating to land owned by people connected to Stapley.

Deputies say the investigations into the towing company and community colleges are still ongoing.