MAY 18, 2010
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed an open records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix to obtain documents related to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s taxpayer-funded security detail (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. City of Phoenix, Civil Action CV2010-015452). Judicial Watch also filed an “Application for Order to Show Cause,” asking the court to force the City of Phoenix to file an expedited response by June 7, 2010.
On November 16, 2009, Judicial Watch requested that the Phoenix Police Department provide access to the following public records: “All activity logs for Mayor Phil Gordon’s Security Detail. The time frame for this request is December 30, 2007, to the present.”
Judicial Watch notes that “…disclosure of the requested logs will help the public to appreciate the size, scope, and duties of the Mayor’s police detail and the activities of the officers assigned to it, including whether the detail has been used for official purposes only or if it also has been used for non-official or personal purposes as well.” Judicial Watch understands that Mayor Gordon’s security costs about $1 million per year. At the same time, there is a proposal by the City of Phoenix to lay off hundreds of Phoenix Police Department police officers.
In a letter dated January 4, 2010, the City of Phoenix refused to produce the requested records. The City had previously refused to release these same documents to the Arizona Republic newspaper as well. The legal filings detail how the logs will provide additional information about Mayor’s day-to-day activities, “such as meetings or appointments the Mayor had, persons with whom the Mayor met, places to which the Mayor traveled, and persons who accompanied or traveled with the Mayor.”
“This is a simple request for documents that should be readily available to the public. Phoenix taxpayers will be able to use these records to help determine whether the Mayor’s publicly-funded police detail is an appropriate use of scarce tax dollars,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
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