Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on July 13, 1991 · Page 7
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 7

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 13, 1991
Page 7
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f. At " The Arizona Republic Sarnrday, Jaly 13, 1991 Power Blinded 'AzScam' . 'V figure News Analysis By Peter Aleshlre ThArizon Republic Rep. Bobby Raymond's voice, captured in hundreds of pages of police transcripts as he tangled himself in a police web, embodies the essence of the attitudes and lust for power that made "AzScam" possible. The shrewd west Phoenix Democrat proved to be exactly the sort of politician Joseph Stedino, posing as "J,Anthony Vincent," spent months trying urgently to find. The thousands of pages of police transcripts of meetings between Raymond and "Vincent" show that the former legislator . was perhaps the moSt direct in taking money, plotting against enemies, and reveling in the seamy deal making of the political process. Curiously enough, after he took his payoff, he devoted most of his time and energy to persuading "Vincent" to Operate more carefully through bite-size gifts to key legislators in amounts that wouldn't violate the strict" limits on contributions. He proved so successful that in the closing months of the "sting" operation, "Vincent" gave away nearly $20,000 to candidates in ways that proved unindictable. Bright, articulate and driven, the life of Raymond truck driver, salesman, would-be businessman and self-declared professional politician had 'been caught between an overreaching ambition and a personal style that spawned conflict He lost his first bid for the House in 1984. So, he changed districts and challenged right-winger Trent Franks in .1986. Raymond won by a whisker: 19$ votes out of 43,000 cast in a district where Democrats barely outnumbered Republicans. lit sold his produce-brokerage firm and changed his occupation to politician. He took the lead on some higji-visibility issues as soon as he hit the Legislature. te browbeat the state Department of Health Services, pushing for an investigation into an unexplained cluster of childhood leukemia cases in hi Maryvale-based district. He quietly worked to protect the homosexual community, which had contributed to his .victory. He advocated abortion WHERE THEY STAND LEGALLY Here are the former state legislators who were indicted in the "AzScam" investigation and the status of their cases: Rep. Bobby Raymond: sentenced to two years in prison, seven years of probation, $34,500 in restitution and fine and 300 hours of community service. t'Sen. Sue Laybe: sentenced to six months in jail, four years of probation, $14,960 in restitution and 600 hours of community service. Sen. Jesus "Chuy" Hig-uera: sentenced to two months in jail, four years of probation and 640 hours of community service. Rep. Jim Meredith: sentenced to three years of probation and $15,000 in restitution. Rep. Jim Hartdegen: sentenced to 18 months of probation, $2,760 in restitution and fine and 50 hours of community service. ? Rep. Don Kenney: awaiting sentencing. Sen. Carolyn Walker: awaiting trial. rights. He pushed through the Legislature a measure adding chiropractors to the list of mandatory benefits for health plans. He met "Vincent" first at the Capitol and then at a fund-raiser. Then he was reintroduced by lobbyist David Horwitz, who was doing consulting work for Vincent. Unlike most of the people who met with "Vincent," Raymond cut straight to the point. "I do deals," he said. "Right," "Vincent" said, nodding. "I mean, there's two or three issues that I'll fall on my sword over, and that's the people that got me here. . . . Other than that, I like the deals of the Legislature," Raymond said. Raymond talked about plans to push for a leadership position that was threatened by a re-election bid. Ultimately, he hoped to manipulate his way into a leadership spot among the minority Democrats. "What can I do for Bobby Raymond?" asked "Vincent," getting back to the subject at hand. "I have to raise another $10,000," Raymond replied. "Anything from a dollar to whatever you can help with, that's just fine." Then Raymond laid out the game plan: channeling money to friendly legislators with Raymond as the conduit. He urged "Vincent" to bring on board Rich Scheffel, a lobbyist who had worked with Raymond to lobby through the bill on chiropractors with $100,000 in donations to friendly legislators. Then, ever so casually, "Vincent" dropped $10,000 in Raymond's lap. R RE-PLASTER! I 4 T I nstaiHweriUiass" oy ALBICAN CHEM-TECH. INC. Chedk Obr COMMITMENT to EXCELLENCE A 25 YEAR WARRAN' Why sweat and fret with your pool all summer. Why spend time and money when you could relax and en ova i. r . . carefree, oeautitui, easy to maintain Inter-glass lined pool. Financing Available O.A.C. Seal Process Patented i at uni'i mii iv t mm uui uqa W w w mm mmmtmm mm We'll have youpWoglwan new in call 267-7665 all 7665 5 working days - water to water 2326 E. Magnolia Street, Phoenix 267-7665 AZ License B-5068248A-9072380 American Chem-Tech, Inc. IS years experience. 14,000 pools completed (LA to Vermont) Arizona's Largest Fibcrglas Resurfacing Company - . i la 'if . yfaoiidl given prison term KAYMORD, from page Al ; "I have absolutely nothing good to say about Rick Roraley,' Raymond said. "Rick Romley will do what's best for his political future. I think he wants tp secure his re-election." Raymond said he was upset because his attorneys told him that -Romley's chief deputy had said he was inclined to make no recommendation about 'sentencing, but Romley insisted on prison. ', .. In an interview Friday, Romley objected to Raymond's remarks. "It's just plain sour , grapes," Romley said. "He's a guy who is used to doing deals, and he didn't like the . deal this time. "It amazes me how these people, when all the sudden they are being sentenced for their actions, blame someone else. "He's desperate. He's trying to play the game he knows best: politics." Romley , said he thinks Raymond should have been sentenced to seven years in prison. Reinstein said he decided to impose prison because Raymond betrayed the public's trust "for personal and political gain" and made some "mean-spirited" comments about his fellow legislators and others to an undercover police agent : Reinstein also ordered Raymond to pay $34,500 to the County Attorney's Office and to perform 300 hours of community-service work. He ordered Raymond to report for prison by July 22 and said he will urge prison officials to put Raymond in a minimum-security facility. ; : Raymond said he takes responsibility for the mistakes he made during , AzScam but expected to receive only ; a year in a county jail, with furlough granted so he could keep working, i Raymond said he is worried about prison because he and Sam Lewis, the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, are "archenemies." "I think Sam Lewis is going to enjoy having me in a little box. where we will be on uneven ground," Raymond said. "I'm not as concerned about the inmates as I am of the administration and the wardens and people like that. I have been an advocate for inmates during all of my time in the Legislature." , Raymond and 17 other people were indicted in February after they accepted money from an undercover agent who went by the name "J. Anthony Vincent." "Vincent," whose real name is Joseph Stedino, represented himself in the sting operation as an organized-crime figure and passed out money allegedly in exchange for support of legalized casino gambling. I 8 JS "5 & It V Bobby Raymond "I'm not pleased with the sentence, but I think the county attorney got what he wanted." Police lured legislator to crime, Sen. Rios says By Susan Leonard Th Arizona Republic " Arizona Senate President Pete Rios said Phoenix police lured former Rep. Bobby Raymond to commit a crime in "AzScam." There was not "any evidence that Bobby Raymond, or any other legislator, had engaged in similar illegal conduct before the 'police operation began," he wrote Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Ronald Reinstein, urging him not to send Raymond to prison. In the strongest comments ever about AzScam, Rios wrote that locking up Raymond "does not serve the people of Arizona, nor can it serve to draw any further remorse from an individual who has already been drained dry." On Friday; Reinstein sentenced Raymond totwo years in prison. In his letter, released Friday, Rios, D-Dudleyville, said that after reviewing hundreds of pages of police transcripts and viewing police videotapes, he does not believe Raymond or any other legislator would have committed a crime "had it not been for the carefully constructed police The political-corruption investigation led to the indictment of seven state legislators and 11 other people after an undercover police ' agent handed out money in exchange for support of legalized casino gambling. Rios was among dozens of people who wrote to Reinstein asking that Raymond be spared from prison. Ralph Milstead, former director of the state Department of Public Safety, wrote that Raymond was not a threat to society and was not the type of legislator seen on the videotapes bragging shamelessly, "I do deals." "I don't really know the Bobby Raymond I saw on the ' police undercover videos," Milstead wrote. "The Bobby. Raymond I knew" was proud to be a legislator. . , Milstead said that hV request marked the first time he ever has asked for leniency for a criminal, but that he believes Raymond deserves a chance to "get on with his life." "He has already been publicly humiliated and personally devastated," he wrote. ! CMMrnti PhtmlfXH W Btthtnf Han M'W-Ott feDetfein Source Furniture 12th ANNIVERSARY SALE Leather & Oak Furniture For Less NEW WAREHOUSE CLUB PRICES 1000'S OF BRANDED SHOES FROM 990 . ; LARGEST STOCK DESIGNER PANT & SHORT SETS PAINTED , JEyELEDETC 10.95 V WE MFGHANDBAGS for designers" LARGEST STOCK AT WHOLESALE I ir. 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