Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Arizona's own Watergate? UPDATED 7:45pm MST 9-18-13

Sometime between close of business on Friday, September 13 and Monday morning (September 16) when the first Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission staffer showed up for work, unknown subject(s) broke in and stole all of the agency's computers.

A crime scene analysis crew from the state Department of Public Safety then spent hours collecting evidence in a situation executive director Ray Bladine described as eerily surreal.

The crime scene unit found what appeared to be a crack pipe; a computer monitor was left on the steps outside the office; and the only food taken was two cans of soup. A refrigerator with numerous other food items brought in by agency staff was left untouched.

Did the perpetrators leave evidence as a diversion or was the burglary really committed by transients? It's too early to tell.

According to Bladine, the AIRC is still waiting for a ruling in the Harris case; the Leach case (in Maricopa County Superior Court) is in the discovery phase, meaning that counsel for the Republican plaintiffs is still working on a fishing expedition. Which, of course, complicates the process of determining the motive for the burglary.

By the way, appropriated funding for the AIRC, just two and a half months into the new state fiscal year, is already nearly all expended. Unless some major (unrelated) issue emerges soon to cause Gov. Brewer to call the legislature into special session, it will be unlikely additional funding can be made available before the 2014 regular session begins on January 13.

In the meantime, the State of Arizona's self-insured Risk Management fund likely will, at least partially, cover the cost for replacing the AIRC computers. Additionally, the Department of Administration is working on enhancing security measures for the agency's offices.


An initial scan of footage recorded by security cameras on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality building adjacent to the AIRC offices doesn't reveal much, if anything at all. That's likely because there is too little light at night to capture images of anyone at or near doors or windows of the Evans House.

The investigating officer had gone off duty by the time I called on Tuesday Wednesday afternoon. I expect to learn more tomorrow. Stay tuned.


  1. Replies
    1. Most, if not all, of the files kept by the AIRC were at least backed up on computers kept by the Arizona Department of Administration, which should maintain additional off-site backup.

  2. Yeah but who is going to replace the crack pipe? :)