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Mon, Jan. 27

Arizona in Brief: Sheriff Arpaio pursued case to hurt Sen. Flake, lawsuit says

Sheriff Arpaio pursued case to hurt Sen. Flake, lawsuit says

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal lawsuit set to go to trial next month marks the latest legal action brought against former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio over allegations that he pursued a trumped-up criminal case to get publicity and embarrass an adversary.

The political opponent in this case: U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

One of Flake’s sons filed a malicious-prosecution lawsuit, saying Arpaio pursued felony animal cruelty charges against him and his then-wife in a bid to do political damage to the senator and gain publicity.

Austin Flake and his wife were charged in the heat-exhaustion deaths of 21 dogs in June 2014 at a kennel operated by his in-laws. The Flakes were watching the dogs when the in-laws were out of town.

The dogs died when an air conditioning unit failed in a small room where the animals spent the night.

The case against the Flakes was dismissed at the request of prosecutors, and the owners of the kennel pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after an expert determined the air conditioner failed because the operators didn’t properly maintain it.

The lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial on Dec. 5, alleges that Arpaio was intent on linking the Flakes to the deaths, going so far as to conduct surveillance on the senator’s home. The suit also says Arpaio’s investigators examined phone records to see if the younger Flake called his father during the time he was watching the dogs.

Lawyers for Austin Flake and his then-wife have said the senator disagreed with Arpaio over immigration and was critical of the movement questioning the authenticity of then-President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Universities revoke journalism awards given to Charlie Rose

PHOENIX (AP) — Charlie Rose, who was fired this week by CBS News and whose program was canceled by PBS in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations from multiple women, had accolades from two universities rescinded Friday.

Panels at both Arizona State University and the University of Kansas met this week and coincidentally came to the same decision on the same day.

Arizona’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication gave Rose an award for journalism excellence in 2015. But the actions reported about Rose were too “egregious” to ignore, according to Dean Christopher Callahan.

“The actions victimized young women much like those who make up the overwhelming majority of Cronkite students — young women who deserve to enter workplaces that reward them for their hard work, intelligence and creativity and where they do not have to fear for their safety or dignity,” Callahan said in a statement.

Callahan said the action was mostly symbolic. But he hoped it would send a message that sexual misconduct would not be tolerated. The award has never been revoked since it was created in 1984. Past recipients include Bob Woodward, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour.

Arizona National Guard fights to keep attack helicopter unit

TUCSON (AP) — The head of the Arizona National Guard is fighting to keep attack helicopters stationed near Tucson as the Army plans to take many of the aircraft from the Guard and concentrate them in active-duty units.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire says the potential loss of a 400-member aviation combat unit at Silverbell Army Heliport near Marana could reduce the Arizona National Guard’s capabilities and hurt the state’s economy, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The Army plans to keep four Apache attack battalions in National Guard units, but where those units will be based is still being decided.

The Arizona attack battalion has already lost all but four of its former fleet of 20 Apaches, and unless Silverbell is picked as one of the Guard Apache battalion sites, the unit faces possible deactivation.

McGuire said the Army’s plan is unsustainable and would waste the skills of hundreds of pilots, technicians and other personnel. The plan would also leave each battalion with fewer helicopters.

The National Guard’s capabilities and readiness would erode as a result, McGuire said.

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