Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Redistricting -- shredded wheat, er, documents? UPDATED

Yesterday, the Arizona Capitol Times reported that Attorney General Tom Horne said Arizona Independent Redistricting Commissioner Rick Stertz told investigators "the commission’s chairwoman destroyed documents used to score mapping firms during a closed-door meeting."

In the executive session meetings in question, state procurement administrator Jean Clark provided guidance on which documents should be preserved.

This morning, AIRC ex. dir. Ray Bladine told the Arizona Eagletarian that no documents which, according to the Arizona Procurement Code, should be preserved were destroyed.  In other words, all documents, including notes, that must be preserved, were preserved.

This situation appears to parallel another recent hubbub caused when Stertz told a reporter that the contract under which Strategic Telemetry was working for the commission was invalid because Bladine had not been given authority to execute the contract.  Subsequent review of minutes, recordings and transcripts of the meetings in question revealed that Bladine indeed had properly delegated authority to execute the contract.

So, giving Stertz the benefit of the doubt in this situation, it could simply have been that he forgot the guidance provided by Ms. Clark. Otherwise, Stertz' statement raises disturbing questions about his conduct during and outside of commission meetings.

The Associated Press reported today:
Gov. Jan Brewer has authority to remove commission members with concurrence of the state Senate, and a spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer said Brewer so far has not seen "concrete evidence" that would warrant action. "She's following closely what's going on. She's aware of the investigation that the attorney general has launched," spokesman Matthew Benson said. 

Today, the AIRC is scheduled to meet at 2:30pm at the Fiesta Resort and Conference Center, located at Broadway and Priest in Tempe.



The AIRC decided this afternoon to take no action on prison populations, based on the advice of counsel, including former DOJ atty Bruce Adelson, who indicated any change would require separate application to DOJ for preclearance.

In other, but related news this afternoon, the Arizona Democratic Party's executive director, Luis Heredia, filed a complaint with the Arizona Atty General as well as the Pima and Maricopa County Attys citing AIRC Commissioner Rick Stertz' false statements on his sworn application to become a commissioner. The complaint cites more specifics than those previously reported on by the Arizona Republic's Mary Jo Pitzl.


  1. Steven,

    Do you think its possible that Mr. Stertz is intentionally giving out misinformation in order to undermine the "legitimacy" of the AIRC?

  2. @PhoenixJustice, Anything's possible, but I'd hope he is not doing that.