Senate committee confirms Robert Halliday as DPS Director

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PHOENIX -- With a vote of five to two, a Senate committee on Wednesday confirmed Robert Halliday as the director of the Department of Public Safety.

Robert Halliday, who has been serving as interim director, has already made headlines because of his dislike of photo enforcement.

It was though that this morning's hearing could be contentious in the wake of a blistering e-mail sent to the senators that questioned an altercation between Halliday and a Payson resident who lives on a golf course. The e-mail, which was sent anonymously, also asked why Halliday, the governor's pick to head up DPS, did not have to take a polygraph test.

The governor's office said it looked into the alleged altercation mentioned in the e-mail and found nothing of concern.

The Arizona Peace Officers Standards Board said because Halliday was a reserve officer, another polygraph test was not necessary.

The Democrats did reportedly grill Halliday before the vote.

Now that Halliday has been confirmed, it's expected that photo enforcement will be one of the first issues he tackles. He has already gone record saying the program needs to be reevaluated at the very least.

Halliday's predecessor is the one who put the photo enforcement program in place.

"The new director is appointed by the governor. The governor has already [said she wants to] cancel the program," said former DPS Director Roger Vanderpool. "The new director hasn't been confirmed. He answers to the governor. What more is he going to say?"

Halliday, who served with DPS for 35 years before retiring in 2008, says the cameras are too expensive to keep in place and that most people don't pay the tickets. He wants to put more officers on Arizona's highways.