Paradise Valley CC Student Sues School Over Denial of Free Speech

The Daily Signal:  “A student at an Arizona community college is challenging her school’s so-called ‘speech zone,’ arguing the policy “severely limited” her right to free speech and due process.  Brittany Mirelez, a freshman at Paradise Valley Community College in Maricopa County, Ariz., was kicked out of the designated speech zone in October for failing to obtain permission to use the space.”  See the lawsuit complaint.

Feds Charge Developer Alex Papas with Fraud, Conspiracy

Arizona Republic:  “An Arizona real-estate developer was arrested last week on fraud and bankruptcy charges stemming from an alleged scheme to hide $17 million in assets.  Alex Papakyriakou, also known as Alex Papas, 57, of Phoenix is accused of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bankruptcy-related offenses, including concealing assets and falsifying records, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  The indictment, filed in Arizona, alleges Papas used more than $150 million from investors and $250 million in bank loans to buy and build shopping centers, mostly in Arizona, between 1997 and 2008.”

Arizona to Pay $99,999 settlement in Tom Horne Retaliation Case

Arizona Republic: Arizona “State officials are set to pay $99,999 to a former criminal investigator for Attorney General Tom Horne who claimed she faced retaliation for reporting allegations of wrongdoing to the FBI, including that Horne may have violated campaign-finance laws, The Arizona Republic has learned.  The dollar amount compensates former criminal investigator Margaret ‘Meg’ Hinchey for the salary and benefits she lost while on medical leave due to stress caused by the alleged retaliation.

Fed Grand Jury Seeks Arizona Pension Documents

Arizona Republic:  “The pension system for Arizona police and firefighters has received a federal grand-jury subpoena to turn over ‘a long list’ of documents as part of a criminal investigation into whether pension-trust managers inflated certain real-estate investment values to trigger staff bonuses.  The trust board of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System voted at a special meeting Friday to hire a criminal defense attorney to handle matters related to the grand-jury investigation.”

Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Causes Mesa to Rewrite Anti-Tattoo Parlor Ordinance

Arizona Republic:  “Stung by an adverse ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court, Mesa is drastically loosening its rules on tattoo parlors. . . . With legal help from the Goldwater Institute, the Colemans sued Mesa, charging that the city had quashed their First Amendment right to artistic expression.  Last September, the Arizona Supreme Court sided with the Colemans, agreeing that their profession falls under First Amendment protection. It was the first such ruling by any state high court in the country.”

Ousted Manager of Cave Creek Sues Town over Firing

Arizona Republic:  “A former Cave Creek town manager is suing the town over the manner in which he was fired from his position of more than 10 years.  Usama Abujbarah and his lawyer, Daniel Bonnett, filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court last Wednesday, claiming that Cave Creek and its Town Council violated Arizona’s Open Meeting Law.”

Judge throws out blood tests in Scottsdale DUI cases

Arizona Republic:  “Blood-test results will be suppressed in at least 11 felony drunk-driving cases that originated in Scottsdale following a Superior Court Judge’s ruling this week, which could affect hundreds of other cases.  The DUI cases were consolidated and set before Superior Court Judge Jerry Bernstein because they all had one thing in common: a challenge to the validity of the blood-testing equipment in the Scottsdale Police Department’s crime lab.”

Arizona’s anti-abortion Medicaid law struck down

Arizona Republic:  “Arizona has lost another battle in its ongoing war to restrict abortions, adding to a growing list of defeats this year for the state’s anti-abortion movement.  On Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona cannot strip Medicaid funding from doctors and clinics that perform abortions, upholding a lower-court ruling.  House Bill 2800, which the Legislature passed and Gov. Jan Brewer signed in 2012, would have halted Medicaid reimbursements for contraceptives, cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and annual women’s exams at the state’s more than 80 hospitals and clinics that also perform abortions.”