Open Letters To the Cochise County Sheriff And the County Attorney


The First Open Letter:  the Sheriff admits, by refusing to deny, that he's subject to a statute which covers all county officers

On January 20, 2015, I sent this open letter to Sheriff Dannels, inviting him to make a public response:
.  "A Board of Supervisors may require any county officer to testify under oath about anything connected with his job, and to post bond for the faithful performance of his job, and may fire him if he fails to post the bond.  So says ARS 11-253(A):  'The board may require any county officer to make reports under oath on any matter connected with the duties of his office, and may require the officer to give such bonds or further bonds as may be necessary for the faithful performance of his respective duties.  An officer who neglects or refuses to make the report, or to give the bond within ten days after being so required, may be removed from office by the board and the office declared vacant.  The board may then fill the vacancy.'  Here's a link to ARS 11-253:
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/11/00253.htm&Title=11&DocType=ARS
.  "A sheriff is a county officer; in fact, sheriff is the first title on the list of county officers at
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/11/00401.htm&Title=11&DocType=ARS
Therefore, a sheriff is subject to ARS 11-253(A).  A 2008 case involving the firing of a sheriff made that very clear.  Pursuant to ARS 11-253(A), the Apache County Board of Supervisors fired Brian R. Hounshell as sheriff.  Hounshell sued and the trial court declined to follow ARS 11-253, but the appellate court reversed the trial court, stating 'the superior court erred as a matter of law.'  See paragraph 3 in the case at
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-court-of-appeals/1153950.html
.  "The appellate court explained at length in paragraphs 10 and 11 of the case:  'The [trial] court reinstated Hounshell on the ground that the "part of ... 11-253 allowing the Board to remove a county officer for failure to post a bond" was implicitly repealed when the Legislature enacted H.B. 2120 ....  [T]he superior court erred....  H.B. 2120 did not delete or amend ยง 11-253.  As stated above, this statute permits a county board of supervisors, at its discretion, to "require any county officer to give such bonds or further bonds as may be necessary for the faithful performance of his respective duties" ...  It further permits the Board, at its discretion, to remove the officeholder "who neglects or refuses to give the bond within ten days after being so required."'
.  "So the validity of ARS 11-253 is settled.  However, I have heard that Sheriff Dannels believes that the Cochise County Board of Supervisors does not have any control over him, except as to the departmental budget.  Therefore, I'm asking if Sheriff Dannels acknowledges that he is subject to ARS 11-253."

On January 21, the sheriff's office emailed a response.  Instead of answering the question, the response reproduces three old press releases, the Mission Statement and Vision Statement from here and the note dated January 2014 from here .  I'll take that response to mean No, Sheriff Dannels, a county officer, won't acknowledge that he's subject to a statute which applies to all county officers.


The Second Open Letter:  County Attorney McIntyre must know he signed an illegal subpoena, but he won't discuss it

Here's an open letter that I sent to County Attorney Brian McIntyre's office at 1:37 p.m. on January 20, 2015.  The letter offers a simple way for the County to avoid spending huge amounts of time and money defending a subpoena that's clearly illegal.  Instantly, McIntyre's email system sent back an automatic "sender denied" response (and so did Supervisor Call's system), so if you ever bring up my suggestion to McIntyre or Call, you'll understand if they are ignorant of my suggestion.  Now, to the letter:
.  "Date:  January 20, 2015  /From:  Mike Jackson  /To:  County Attorney Brian McIntyre  /Subj:  Will you withdraw an illegal subpoena that you signed?
.  "You signed an illegal subpoena on October 13, 2014.  A copy (with Google's redactions) is online at
http://littlebigdog.net/SubpoenaPage1.jpg
and
http://littlebigdog.net/SubpoenaPage2.jpg
.  "The subpoena said it was made pursuant to ARS 13-3018, but it demanded the contents of emails 'from phones i.e. photos and texts, forwarded mails from other accounts, archived messages, deleted messages and sent messages' -- which ARS 13-3018 doesn't allow a subpoena to request.  13-3018(B) and (G) allow a subpoena of 'communication service records' but not of 'the content of any ... electronic communication.'  ARS 13-3018 is available at
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/13/03018.htm&Title=13&DocType=ARS
.  "On December 16, I emailed you about the situation, but you did not answer.  Since then, your illegal subpoena has caused a fair amount of discussion.
.  "It seems to me that your best course is to withdraw the subpoena.  Will you do so, and inform citizens that you have done so?
.  "Please note that this is an open letter and will be published, as will be your response.  Thank you for your consideration."

McIntyre has never answered.