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BlogArizona.com offers discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but focuses on Arizona and real estate.  The articles  posted here are contributed by various working professionals.  Their insights and experiences will inform, educate, challenge and entertain our readers week after week.  Some of the best reading on blogs often comes from reader Comments!  We encourage you to use the 'Comments' feature to join discussions and interact with both our Contributors, and our other readers.  We do require that you first review and accept our 'Comment Rules' in order to preserve the quality and integrity of this blog.  Also be aware that all visitors are subject to our Terms of Use.

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BlogArizona Category: Arizona Law

This page contains all BlogArizona posts related to Arizona Law.   Read a specific post by clicking on a title below, or scroll further down the page to read through all posts in this category.
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  • Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Beware of Mortgage Modification & Foreclosure Assistance Scams

    If you or someone you know is trying to do a mortgage modification or seeking help for a foreclosure situation, be sure to read this announcement from Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne:

    AG Horne Files Two Lawsuits Against Mortgage Modification Assistance Companies Operating In Both Phoenix and Tucson

    PHOENIX (Wednesday, August 15, 2012) -- Attorney General Horne announced today two lawsuits have been filed against Arizona companies selling mortgage modification services to distressed homeowners.

    “There is still a significant amount of fallout from the mortgage crisis, and consumers need to remain vigilant when approached about mortgage modification services,” Horne said. “The legal actions that have been filed serve as a reminder that people need to be very careful about dealing only with reputable servicers.”

    The lawsuits are against Phoenix based Making All Homes Affordable, LLC (“MAHA”) and its owner Albert Figueroa and Tucson based La Paz Source, LLC, its owners, Defendant Maria Beltran and her husband, Defendant Francisco Ramos and their new operation La Placita Multi Services, LLC owned and operated by Beltran and an individual named Arturo Gomez Leon.

    The lawsuit against MAHA alleges that MAHA and Defendant Figueroa violated the Consumer Fraud Act by misrepresenting the nature and value of the MAHA program, which MAHA advertises exclusively in Spanish language media and sells in face-to-face meetings in MAHA’ office and at several “retail outlets” in Phoenix and Tucson, including at the office of La Placita. The lawsuit alleges that MAHA salespersons tell potential clients that MAHA can help them obtain specific, favorable mortgage modifications, including lower interest rates and principal reductions. After homeowners pay MAHA nearly $1,900, homeowners discover that the MAHA program is nothing more than a do-it-yourself program, allowing them access to various standardized forms and information on MAHA’s website; forms and information that are available for free on government websites, such as www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. The lawsuit also alleges that MAHA uses dozens of fake consumer testimonials on its website and that MAHA charges its clients a fake sales tax of 9.3%.

    The lawsuit against La Paz Source and La Placita alleges that La Paz Source, LLC was an Arizona LLC who advertised as providing foreclosure consultant services. Consumers have reported that La Paz Source, LLC promised to stop the foreclosure process, obtain loan modifications for its consumers and communicate with lenders/servicers on behalf of its clients. As La Paz Source, LLC, the Defendants allegedly claimed they were authorized to conduct such business in Arizona when they were not duly licensed to conduct their business here. Oftentimes, La Paz Source charged very large upfront fees, which were prohibited by state and federal law, and then failed to provide the mortgage loan modification services required to earn those fees. In some cases, the clients lost their homes in the process.

    In November of 2011, Defendants Beltran and Ramos dissolved La Paz Source, LLC. The same day that the Defendants dissolved La Paz, Beltran and Arturo Gomez Leon started La Placita which also held itself out as being a provider of mortgage loan modification services to Arizona consumers.

    The Defendants deceptively and willfully target the Spanish-speaking community in Arizona to obtain a benefit through the exploitation of the consumers’ Spanish/English language barrier. The Defendants provide contracts written only in English. Many times, the Defendants verbally explain terms of the agreement to consumers, in Spanish, that are in direct contradiction to the written provisions of the contract provided in English.

    The La Paz and La Placita Defendants now claim to have changed their business model to that of a retail outlet for MAHA. The complaint further alleges: the Defendants continue falsely to guarantee consumers that the Defendants’ services will result in foreclosure prevention and a favorable loan modification; the Defendants hold themselves out to the community as experts in mortgage loan modifications and use deceptive means to lure distressed homeowners into parting with hundreds or thousands of dollars, then the Defendants take their money without providing the efficacy, nature, or kind of services for which the consumer bargained; and that the Defendants charge consumers a fee they call a “sales tax,” but those monies are not remitted to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Furthermore, the Defendants represent that they are compliant with state and federal laws when they routinely violate the FTC M.A.R.S rule banning upfront fees for mortgage assistance relief services.

    These cases are being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Cherie Howe and Jeremy Shorbe. The cases are State of Arizona v. Making All Homes Affordable, et al., Maricopa County Superior Court case number CV2012-011000 and State of Arizona v. La Paz Source, LLC et al., Pima County Superior Court number C20124738.

    If you believe you’ve been a victim of any type of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 / (520) 628-6504 / (800) 352-8431.

    You can also file a consumer complaint online at: https://www.azag.gov/consumer/complaintform.html

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on August 16, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Did your AZ Representative Help Defeat the Anti-Sanctuary City Bill?

    Before adjourning July 1, the Arizona House defeated a bill (HB 2280) by Senator Russell Pearce that would have cracked down on pro-illegal alien “sanctuary” laws and aided in immigration enforcement by expanding the state’s trespassing law. While the Senate approved the bill 16-11, the House was five votes short of the 31 needed for passage.

    Democratic politicians usually oppose illegal immigration enforcement, as they need the pro-illegal money and votes to get re-elected.  But three Republicans also opposed this bill even though the State Republican Party unanimously passed a resolution supporting it and numerous law enforcement organizations endorsed it (at least those who haven’t had long-standing ties with open-borders groups and cheap-labor business lobbyists).  The 3 Republicans and 12 Democrats who opposed this bill were:

    What's really disturbing is that 19 members of the House (listed below) did not even vote on the bill at all.  Shame on them.  I was told the six Republicans listed below physically left the Capitol building so they didn’t have to go on record as opposing HB 2280 (sadly, my Representative was among them):

    Is this really what we pay our elected officials to do... play both sides of the aisle and hide their true beliefs so nobody knows what they support or oppose?  I know I didn't vote for that.  I expect my elected representatives to help Americans, not illegal immigrants.  And no, I'm not a racist although the pro-illegal immigration crowd will say anyone who wants our immigration laws enforced must be a racist (so go ahead and send the emails anyway - my delete key is ready!).  I simply want our laws to be respected by all.  You and I must obey the law or pay the consequences.  Why are illegals getting a free pass at our expense?  Our immigration laws have been ignored for long enough, and selective enforcement of some laws results in lack of respect for all laws.  If all laws are not enforced, how do you know which ones they're really serious about?

    So what does this have to do with real estate?  PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN SANCTUARY CITIES.  Eliminating sanctuary city policies will not only aid law enforcement and make our cities safer, but this bill will also alleviate some of our financial problems.  Sanctuary cities are plagued with increased costs and decreased quality of education, healthcare, law enforcement and all other social services.  Sound familiar?

    Our current budget mess reminds us that Arizona can't even afford the services it's currently providing.  So do we raise taxes, reduce services & quality of services provided to legal residents, or eliminate services for those who are here illegally mooching off the rest of us?  Seems kind of like a no-brainer to me, especially considering that many legal Arizona residents are currently unemployed and in need of assistance.  But then I'm just a lowly taxpayer so I don't have all that special "State Representative" knowledge that's required to make such important decisions with other people's money.

    The defeat of this bill means that sanctuary policies, like those in Mesa and other Valley cities, will continue to:

    • Protect criminal illegals from deportation
    • Allow illegals to take benefits intended for needy Arizona residents
    • Allow illegals to take jobs that should go to legal Arizona residents

    When public assistance agencies are prevented from inquiring about an applicant's immigration status, benefits are distributed to ineligible illegal aliens.  Sanctuary policies directly violate Federal law and make it easier for illegal aliens, including criminal aliens, to live undetected in Arizona. How many citizens, including police officers, have to die or be maimed before we decide to enforce our immigration laws?

    ATTENTION STATE LAWMAKERS:  If you oppose a bill, at least have the backbone to stand up and say so.  Otherwise, don't ask for my vote next time you run for re-election... because I will show up to vote against you (and I'll encourage everyone I know to do the same).  And by the way, illegal immigrants don't vote, but angry American citizens do.

    If your AZ Representative is listed above, be sure to email them and let them know how you feel about their vote (or lack thereof) on this issue.  Just click the email address of your Representative to send a pre-written letter, or edit the email to say whatever you'd like.  Click here to look up your Representative.

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on July 6, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (7)

    Monday, June 09, 2008

    Phoenix, AZ Road Rage Kills 70-Year Old Grandmother

    Valley streets are dangerous and I can certainly understand getting frustrated at another driver now and then.  But it's hard to believe somebody would actually kill another person over a traffic altercation.  Hard to believe maybe, but it happens all too often.

    Here's an article about a deadly road rage incident which took place in Phoenix over the weekend.  A 70-year old grandmother was shot and killed just for being a passenger.  A 4-year old child in the same car was shot in the arm and is in stable condition.

    Police are still looking for the alleged shooter...the 26-year old male passenger of an older model white Ford Escort, which was being driven by a 21-year old pregnant woman.  Sounds like this couple will make great parents, huh?

    I hate to see such negative news stories about our state, but this story has been all over the national news today.  Makes you wonder... what's our world coming to?  That's all I can say about this.

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on June 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Sheriff Joe Enforces Immigration Law, Phoenix Mayor Upset

    Normally, I don't post on such political topics.  But this Arizona Republic article was so one-sided, I had to blog about it just to mention the part of the story the AZ Republic blindly disregarded.  Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is asking the FBI to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations.  The Mayor is complaining about Sheriff Joe's recent illegal immigrant raids because Mayor Gordon claims Sheriff Joe is using racial profiling.  In short, the Mayor is complaining that Sheriff Joe is enforcing the law.

    I just wonder...is this the same Mayor Phil Gordon who recently gave press conferences about how he was going to end Phoenix's sanctuary city policy after a Phoenix police officer was needlessly shot and killed by an illegal alien?  I guess that was just for the news cameras.  When it comes to actually following through, perhaps a few more officers will have to be killed first.

    And don't you love the way the Arizona Republic article mentions (more than once) that Mayor Gordon recently "called on Phoenix police to play a more active role in enforcing immigration laws".  But nowhere in the article does it mention that Mayor Gordon took that stance after a Phoenix police officer was needlessly shot in the face and killed by an illegal immigrant, in cold blood.  And this was an illegal immigrant who had previously been arrested for less serious charges and deported.  But apparently, anybody who wants to walk across our border and kill our citizens is free to do so (thank you for trying to keep it that way Mayor Gordon).

    Mayor Gordon says Sheriff Joe should focus on real criminals.  Last I heard, being here illegally is illegal.  And when someone is killed needlessly by an illegal immigrant, doesn't it usually turn out that the killer was previously arrested for less serious crimes?  If authorities had only deported the person and meant it the first time, maybe we'd have one less dead Phoenix police officer.

    I realize all illegal immigrants are not criminals, but as long as our borders are wide open, the bad guys are coming across too.  In my opinion, people like Mayor Gordon who scream 'racist' everytime someone tries to actually deal with the problem need to wipe the blood off their hands and face reality.  How many people have to be killed and how many children have to be molested before we finally decide to enforce our laws...and mean it.

    We need to get past the politics and secure our borders... for real this time.  Until that happens, I say go Sheriff Joe!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    Selling a Home in AZ and Not Sure What to Disclose to the Buyer?

    I recently received an email with this question about disclosure of sex offenders when selling a home in Arizona:

    "Recently in USA Today 3/20/2008 in an article written by Matt Reed, he stated  " Arizona has one of the nation's toughest laws, requiring sellers and agents to disclose neighboring sex offenders to potential buyers."

    Yet Arizona real estate law attorney Richard Keyt stated on his website the following: " The presence of a sex offender in the vicinity of the property is not a fact that is required to be disclosed by law."  His web page was last revised 3/23/2008.

    Additionally, a form from the Arizona Association of Realtors, Residential Seller Advisory version 02/2008 stated: "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been: ( I'll skip to paragraph 3: located in the vicinity of a sex offender."

    My question is has the governor or the legislation changed this provision of law recently? Who is correct?"

    First, I have to say that I'm not an attorney so I can only address this question in the general sense and from a Realtor's perspective.  So do not consider my answer as legal advice, and ALWAYS consult an attorney for questions about your own specific situation.

    Second, don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media!  Of course, you can't believe everything you read on the internet either.  But I do know bloggers who are much more thorough about checking facts than some of the major media outlets.

    Arizona legislators are constantly updating our laws, and real estate disclosure is a hot topic.  However, I don't think a change to the law is the source of confusion in this case.  From my experience, I'd say all of the sources quoted are technically correct.  I think this is the USA Today article that was referenced in the question, here's the AZ real estate attorney who was mentioned, and here's the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) Residential Seller Advisory form.

    The AAR Residential Seller Advisory does indeed state, "By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been... located in the vicinity of a sex offender."  But if you keep reading, it goes on to say, "However, the law does not protect a seller who makes an intentional misrepresentation."  And then the top of the next page says, "Sellers are required by law to disclose all known material (important) facts about the Property to the Buyer".

    So what is considered to be "material" or "important"?  Generally, anything that may affect a buyer's decision to buy is definitely material and should be disclosed.  To be safe, I tell sellers that EVERYTHING is material to the buyer.  At least, a seller has to assume that everything is material because they don't know what's material to the buyer.  Every buyer is different... what seems minor and unimportant to the seller may very well be minor and unimportant to one buyer.  However, that same item may be extremely important, and thus material, to another buyer.  If it ends up in front of a judge, I would guess that anything and everything the buyers find out later, that the seller knew and didn't disclose, will be considered material!

    The AAR Residential Seller Advisory reinforces this idea with it's heading, "When in doubt, disclose!".  If the sellers know there's a sex offender living down the street and the buyers ask, I would tell the seller to disclose it, in writing, to protect both the sellers and the buyers.  Even if the buyers don't ask, I would still tell the sellers to disclose it, in writing.  It doesn't matter if the buyers are older or don't have kids.  You cannot assume they don't care about a sex offender living nearby.  They may have grandchildren who visit and play outside, or friends that come over and bring their kids.  My point is, you shouldn't try to get inside the buyer's head and figure out what is, or is not material.  Only the buyer can decide that.  Just disclose it and let the buyers make that call... whether it's a maintenance problem, or something you know about the neighbors, homeowners association, schools, etc.  Disclose whatever you know.

    I know many people are reading this thinking, "Disclose it, even if it they don't ask? That would probably kill the deal."  Well, it's better to kill the deal now than end up in court later.  And actually, being honest from the beginning by making full disclosure reduces the risk of a last minute deal-breaker, 29 days into the transaction.  As a seller, if the deal isn't going to close, don't you want to know right away instead of AFTER your house has been off the market for a month?

    Full disclosure isn't just for sellers either.  It's a two-way street.  Buyers should also disclose anything that might be material to the sellers, like if they know something which may affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage.  The "golden rule" can (and should) be applied to real estate transactions, just like anything else in life.  Every transaction is smoother, less stressful and turns out better in the end if both parties are honest and upfront with each other from the beginning. 

    But buyers, don't be naive!  You should NOT rely on the sellers to disclose all material facts about the property you're buying.  Even if the sellers are honest people, they may not know all the material facts.  So buyers must also do their "due diligence" by investigating everything that's important to them.  The AZ Department of Real Estate advises buyers to read and investigate the items on this checklist for Arizona home buyers.  While the law may require certain disclosures, "Buyer Beware" is a reality!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on April 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Beware of Red Light Camera at Gilbert & McKellips in Mesa!

    A couple years ago when I had to go to driving school, I was told the cameras in intersections can catch you either speeding or running a red light.  Some are set for red-light only while others are set for speed.  But the cameras are all the same, it just depends on how they're programmed. 

    Well apparently, the red light running camera at Gilbert and McKellips in Mesa has recently been re-programmed to catch speeders too.  Don't ask me how I know this!  :(

    Photo radar ticket at the intersection of Gilbert & McKellips in Mesa, AZI live just a few miles east of this intersection and drive through it quite frequently since it's between my house and my office.  For those readers who are lucky enough to have never seen a photo radar ticket, I've posted one of the pretty pictures the City of Mesa was nice enough to send me (with the speed removed to protect the innocent, of course!).  They say you have to be going at least 11 MPH over the speed limit to get your picture taken for a speed violation.

    Considering the fees they're charging for speeding tickets these days, I don't know how the City of Mesa is losing money on the photo radar program.  Perhaps this recent re-programming of cameras is an attempt to get a better return on Mesa's investment.  Obviously, I have mixed feelings about that!  As a Mesa resident and taxpayer, of course I want the city to keep the roads safe, and I want them to maximize the return on investment when they spend taxpayers money...but not at my expense!

    If you're wondering where other Mesa traffic cameras are located, the City of Mesa's website lists all the intersections with red light cameras, along with the locations of Mesa's photo radar vans.  Also, here's some more info on Arizona photo radar tickets.

    Remember, slow down at the intersection of Gilbert & McKellips and drive safe!  :)

    Related Articles you may also find interesting:
    Scottsdale, Arizona Traffic Cameras (February 2007)
    Mesa Adds Several New Traffic Cameras (April 2006)
    Arizona Traffic School is Educational, But Not Fun! (March 2006)

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on March 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    AZ Home Inspector Licensing Board going away?

    Arizona Home Inspectors need your help!

    Arizona's home inspector licensing agency, the AZ Board of Technical Registration (BTR) is inefficient, expensive and allegedly corrupt.  In fact, Arizona lawmakers are thinking about eliminating the BTR altogether (SB1171), and moving home inspector licensing to the Registrar of Contractors (ROC).

    As most of my readers already know, I'm co-owner of Homewerx Home Inspections, one of the Valley's leading home inspection companies since 1999.  As such, I sincerely appreciate your support on this matter.

    While I do NOT support eliminating the BTR, it definitely needs some change - starting at the top with the guy in charge.  It's unfortunate, but AZ home inspector licensing seems to be alot more about money and power and industry organizations than it is about quality home inspections.  There are some real problems and conflicts of interest that have just been ignored at the BTR, and we all know that problems don't just go away when they're ignored...they get worse!  Now, the BTR is so inefficient and lacking accountability that I think the whole idea of protecting homebuyers got lost somewhere along the line.  Home Inspectors don't trust the BTR, consumers kind of laugh at them.

    And the cost of inefficient government regulation is real... look at how much it costs to be a home inspector in Arizona compared to other professionals licensed by the same agency.  And look at how much Arizona home inspectors pay compared to home inspectors in other states.  "Wow" is all I can say!  Home Inspection companies inevitably pass these ridiculous costs onto the homebuying consumer, who is already strapped for cash in case the BTR hasn't heard.  And a home inspection is an out-of-pocket expense - those are the ones that really hurt and will be a deal-breaker alot quicker than borrowed money will.

    So please Help support the 'little guy', and you will help keep Arizona home inspection prices down plus eliminate government incompetence at the same time.

    Thank you again for your support!

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on February 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    AZ Termite Inspector Licensing Agency Going Away

    Termite tube found in an Arizona home during a pre-purchase termite inspection If you haven't already heard, the licensing agency for Arizona termite inspectors and pest control professionals is going away - for good.  That's right, the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC) is being eliminated.

    Amid allegations of "cronyism, inefficiency, overregulation and instability", the executive director was recently fired by the seven member Commission.  In protest, the 3 Commission members who voted against firing the executive director have resigned.  A committee of Arizona lawmakers have since voted in favor of, and are introducing a bill to disband the SPCC altogether.

    Under the new bill, regulation & licensing of pest control professionals, including termite inspectors, will be transferred to the AZ Department of Agriculture.  Arizona lawmakers also considered transferring the SPCC's duties to the AZ Registrar of Contractors (ROC) or the AZ Board of Technical Registration (BTR).  However, agricultural pest control is already regulated by the AZ Dept. of Agriculture, so they are the most logical choice.

    Last I heard, the bill was supposed to be introduced in early January when the AZ Legislature reconvened.  While I have not officially seen anything stating the bill has been introduced or approved, I was told by one of my State Representatives in early January that the SPCC's duties will be transferring to the AZ Department of Agriculture.  I think he told me a time frame, but I don't remember what it was.  So it sounds like a pretty done deal, even if it has not been officially approved.  AZ Governor Napolitano mentioned late last year that she would consider the recommendation to get rid of the SPCC, and the State Representative I spoke with did not say the SPCC might go away, he said it was going away.  Additionally, the SPCC (like all such agencies) is subject to review every ten years.  I believe the SPCC's sunset review is due in June of this year, and even in the absence of other legislation, I don't think the SPCC is expected to be re-authorized or renewed.

    So, the "good ole boy network" at an Arizona licensing agency...could it really happen?

    Of course, I'm being sarcastic - yes, it really happens and probably more than you'd ever believe.  I have personally witnessed the type of abuse of power alleged here at another AZ licensing agency.  Luckily, it was not not directed at me personally.  However, I would bet that it's much more widespread than the public really knows.  That's a real shame since these licensing agencies are intended to protect the public.  But when the agency is corrupt, it doesn't protect anybody - it just raises the cost of doing business.  And that cost is ultimately passed on to the consumer, which means the licensing agency ends up hurting the very consumers it was supposed to protect.

    By the way, I want to apologize to my loyal readers for my recent "vacation" from blogging.  Between the holidays, visiting relatives and another project I've been working on, the time has just gotten away from me.  But I promise to post again soon.  In fact, my friend the AZ Mortgage Guru recently sent me a very interesting article, which got me doing some research on another Arizona licensing agency.  And what I found is definitely worth coming back to read.  So be sure to check back in a few days and read all about it!

    Related articles:
    - State Pest Control Director Fired
    - Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission May Disband
    - Pest Control Agency May Be Disbanded
    - Napolitano willing to consider abolishing pest control agency

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on January 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Phoenix, Arizona's Baseline Killer Sentenced

    The Phoenix area has really been in the national news headlines today - mostly law enforcement stories like the Sheriff Joe DUI chain gang story I posted earlier.  Likewise, here's an update on the Baseline Killer story. 

    Earlier today, Mark Goudeau (aka the Baseline Killer) was sentenced to 438 years in prison... that's right - four hundred thirty eight years - and that's just for the sexual assault charges he was convicted of last September.  He still faces the death penalty in about 9 murder cases.  Here's more info on today's sentence for the Phoenix Baseline Killer.

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on December 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Maricopa County Sheriff Has New DUI Chain Gang

    Arizona's favorite Sheriff, also known as America's Toughest Sheriff, is making national headlines again.  This time, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being criticized for his DUI chain gang.  Much like Sheriff Joe's other chain gangs, his DUI chain gang cleans up streets and performs other community services while wearing eye-catching outfits.  The DUI chain gang wears bright pink shirts which say, "Sheriff D.U.I. Chain Gang" on the back, and "Clean (ing) and Sober" on the front.  According to Sheriff Joe, "Maybe this will warn people — knock it off, don't drink and drive. You'll end up in pink underwear on the chain gang".

    While critics have always denounced Sheriff Joe's pink attire, the services performed by this new chain gang have critics especially upset...

    -- because the chain gang performs burial services for homeless alcoholics at an indigent cemetery.  However, it's important to note that all of the members of the DUI chain gang are volunteers who want to participate.  And homeless alcoholics need to be buried too, right, so what's the problem?

    Sheriff Joe is getting even tougher on Arizona's drunk drivers because last year, Arizona had a 15% increase in alcohol-related fatalities from the previous year (according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records).  This increase made Arizona number six in the entire nation for alcohol-related deaths.

    Sheriff Joe is also known for having the nation's first female chain gang.  And apparently, the DUI Chain Gang is the first ever 'crime-specific' chain gang.  Of course, Sheriff Joe is already planning to extend the idea, possibly creating chain gangs for those convicted of auto theft and identity theft.  According to Sheriff Joe, "Hey, it's unlimited what we can put on a shirt".

    I say go Sheriff Joe, and thank you for at least trying to keep Maricopa County safe!  Sheriff Joe is dealing with a serious problem in a creative, yet common sense way.  He's getting community services performed for free by people who owe a debt to society.  In the process, they're learning an important lesson about the consequences of their actions, while also making a statement to the community about the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.  Even if you haven't seen the chain gangs, you've heard about them on the news.  In fact, just about every national news channel had a story today about Sheriff Joe's new chain gang "digging graves" for homeless alcoholics. 

    So not only is Sheriff Joe's getting work done in the community, he's got everybody talking about the serious problem of drinking and driving - without spending any taxpayer dollars!  He's a marketing genius if you ask me!  I'm sure other government agencies could spend millions of dollars to form a committee and do a study, and issue a report, and come up with a plan and blah, blah, blah...  Meanwhile, the DUI chain gang is getting work done while also sending a very clear and effective message to the public:  Drink and drive and you too could end up dead, homeless or on a chain gang.

    This is possibly the most common sense and efficient use of tax dollars I've ever seen!  Too bad we don't have more leaders like Sheriff Joe.

    Related posts from the past:
    Maricopa County Sheriff Says No to Kool-Aid - Aug 2006
    Maricopa County Sheriff Plans "Ameri-con Idol" - May 2006
    Maricopa County Jails are English Only - Oct 2006

    Visit Shannon Hubbard's Home Page     Written By: Shannon Hubbard
    Realtor®-Investor

    Great American Realty, Inc.

    Cell: (480) 695-6672
    Email me

    Posted by Shannon Hubbard, AZ Realtor & Computer Guru on December 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

           

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