Charles Keating’s Techniques Were Replicated By Those who Helped Trigger the 2008 Financial Collapse

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By John Dougherty

This story was written for InvestigativeMEDIA and Published Thu., Apr. 3 2014 at 6:00 AM by Phoenix New Times.

Charles H Keating Jr. is remembered not only as the most notorious figure of the savings & loan crisis that swept the nation in the late 1980s – and as the namesake of the infamous Keating Five political scandal – but also as the fraudster whose techniques were replicated by those who helped trigger the 2008 financial collapse and Great Recession. [Read more…]

Granite Mountain Hotshots Were Asked if they Could Protect Yarnell

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By John Dougherty

Published Wed., Dec. 11 2013 at 11:38 AM in Phoenix New Times

yarnell-feature-12-12.jpg
Illustration by Pat Kinsella

A state fire supervisor asked the Granite Mountain Hotshots whether they could assist in Yarnell minutes before the 19-member crew left a burned-over safety zone along a mountain ridge and began its descent into a chaparral-choked box canyon where the men died in a firestorm.

See Also: Complete coverage of the Yarnell Hill Fire here.

The request, which was not disclosed in the Serious Accident Investigation Report commissioned by the Arizona Forestry Division (released in late September), provides important new insight into why the Granite Mountain crew decided to abandon their safe position as a powerful thunderstorm rapidly approached the wildfire raging below. [Read more…]

Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Ignored Major Mistakes by the State

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The following story and videos were produced and reported by InvestigativeMEDIA and appeared in the Phoenix New Times.
By John Dougherty
Published Wed., Oct. 16 2013 at 12:00 PM
Yarnell-Cover-10.17.13.jpg
Illustration by Justin Renteria.

Former Yarnell Fire Chief Peter Andersen sat under a tree in his front yard having his morning coffee on Sunday, June 30, when the Granite Mountain Hotshots drove past his Glen Ilah home.

“At 8:03, [their] two buggies went by,” Andersen says. “Right after they went by, the leaves started to blow. I shook my head. [The state] didn’t listen to me.”

Andersen, who resigned as Yarnell chief in 2011 after 12 years of service, was aggravated because he had warned an Arizona Forestry Division fire manager the night before that it was crucial to attack the steadily expanding fire in the hills above Yarnell at dawn, before prevailing southwesterly winds picked up about 8 in the morning. [Read more…]

GOP could blow Arizona

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A brutal GOP primary is boosting Democrats’ chances of taking a Senate seat — and Obama’s chance to win the state.

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In 1976, Dennis DeConcini, a young, one-term Democratic prosecutor from Tucson, stormed to a 10-point victory in the U.S. Senate race after Republicans Sam Steiger and John Conlan eviscerated each other in a brutal primary. It was the last time the Democrats picked up a Senate seat in the Grand Canyon State.

Read the rest of this story that first appeared in Salon.com here.

Sheriff Joe’s world crumbles

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The controversial Arizona cop is prepping for a possible trial. But already, his closest allies have fallen.

By John Dougherty

PHOENIX–With fresh calls for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to face a federal criminal trial, many are predicting the end of his controversial career. What few people realize outside metropolitan Phoenix is how much Arpaio’s world has already fallen apart around him.

Continue reading the story that first appeared in Salon.com here.

Sheriff Joe's anti-fed crusade

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His rebuff of the Justice Department proves his longtime strategy: Defend himself by attacking his critics

By John Dougherty

The only thing surprising about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pistol-whipping of the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday is that anyone is shocked to see him thumbing his nose at the feds.

“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state legislator and longtime Latino civil rights leader in Phoenix. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following Arpaio over the last 20 years.”

Read the rest of the story first published in Salon.com here.

Sheriff Joe’s anti-fed crusade

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His rebuff of the Justice Department proves his longtime strategy: Defend himself by attacking his critics

By John Dougherty

The only thing surprising about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pistol-whipping of the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday is that anyone is shocked to see him thumbing his nose at the feds.

“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state legislator and longtime Latino civil rights leader in Phoenix. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following Arpaio over the last 20 years.”

Read the rest of the story first published in Salon.com here.

How developers and businessmen cash in on Grand Canyon overflights

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By John Dougherty

Tusayan, Arizona

In the lobby of Papillon Helicopters’ terminal at Grand Canyon National Park Airport, Enrique Ochoa stared at his smart phone, searching for a WiFi signal.

Unlike the scores of late-April tourists, who were waiting to board one of Papillon’s noisy helicopters for a $175, 30-minute Grand Canyon sightseeing flight, Ochoa was simply trying to get some work done. Just a few days into his new job as Tusayan’s first town manager, he was clearly frustrated.

To read the rest of this story that first appeared in High Country News on June 13, 2011 click here.