Monday, October 18, 2010
Is Mohave County Corrupt?
And now ladies and gentlemen, I ask a simple question. Is Mohave County, Arizona corrupt? You can decide the answer.
According to an article in the Kingman Daily Miner, officials raided the headquarters of the Colorado City/Hildale Fire Departments on April 6th of this year.
According to facts made public in the case, investigators were acting on a tip from a caller about fire department personnel using the department's credit card, allegedly for personal expenses.
The laundry list of items investigators found charged to the department included some of the following provided by the Kingman Daily Miner:
List of items purchased using fire district funds
• Multiple dinner purchases in St. George, Utah, at restaurants such as Ruby River and Steak and Seafood. One purchase on Oct. 17, 2007, was for $288.54.
• Twenty $15 gift certificates from Dezereta - a local gas station.
• Fifteen $15 gift certificates from Garden Gate, Inc. - a business owned by Colorado City Manager David Darger.
• $575 for 100 candy gift boxes to Jill Johnson Special Manufacturing.
• Several receipts for food from Big Dan's Drive Thru and Vermilion Candy Shoppe/Fine Restaurant. Both are located in Colorado City.
• 30 purchases at the Cooperative Mercantile during February 2008, with five purchases made on Feb. 4, 2008, and seven made on Feb. 19, 2008. The Mercantile is the only general store in Colorado City.
• Eight purchases at Dezereta gas station on Christmas Day 2007.
• Two meal purchases on July 2, 2008, for $102.46 at Steak and Seafood and $156.68 at the Claim Jumper in St. George.
• $328.61 in purchases made with Turbo Tax between February 2004 and January 2009. According to the affidavit, fire districts do not need to use tax software.
• Credit card charges for gas, food and lodging (three rooms for two nights for six people) for a trip to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. This was on top of $270 given to district personnel to cover all trip expenses. According to the affidavit, local fire departments weren't holding training events during that time.
• 15 purchases from March 2004 to January 2009 to NewEgg.com, a Web-based computer parts and electronics store. The purchases were delivered to a personal address in Colorado City.
• Another 120 purchases made by Fire Chief Jake Barlow worth $25,000 made to NewEgg.com between June 2004 to August 2008 and delivered to a property owned by the fire district.
• $22,907.50 worth of merchandise purchased at Costco between September 2004 and August 2008, including:
• A leather sofa for $889.99
• A desk for $749.99
• A lateral file for $259.99
• A two-door bookcase for $274.99
• A computer workstation and armoire for $1,151.02.
• Six spiral hams for $20.48, $20.41, $25.76, $24.98, 19.30 and $20.52.
• Two Turbo Tax Premier plus State editions for $59.99 each
• Two iPod like music devices for $129.99 and $109.99
• Two leather sofas for $789.99 each
• A 250 GB port for the iPod devices for $139.99
• More than $100 in candy
• Seven 24 ounce Wild Alaskan King Salmon items for $121.73
• A one terabit external hard drive for $279.99
• 17 units of Dove assorted mini chocolates for $169.83
• 19 units of Chocolate Delicate Squares for $187.72
• 18 units of Chocolates of the World for $206.82
• Three digital picture frames for $419.97 (less $120 in coupons)
• Four fresh hen turkeys for $11.70, $11.47, $11.49 and $11.28
• Four units of shrimp at $79.96 each
From June 2007 to September 2008, the district purchased $13,865.96 at Sam's Club including:
• 40 Danish hams for $286.80
• Two chocolate gift towers for $19.87 each
• Two oversized throws for $14.47 each
• Fresh salmon filets for $21.70
• A queen mattress pad for $24.84
• Diapers for $26.88
• A six-pack of briefs for $8.88
• Four pairs of men's socks for $9.47
• A baby jumpsuit for $6.88
• A fleece-lined hoodie for $24.23
• An iPod dock alarm clock for $79.47
• Orange Roughy fillets for $13.46
• Two eight-packs of bath towels for $19.88 each
• A 12-pack of hand towels for $13.87
• A 24-pack of washcloths for $10.83.
• A king-sized set of sheets at $49.84
• Line bath towel for $11.76
• In December 2007, Jake Barlow purchased $1,500 in food from Sam's Club and Costco while an additional $837 was spent at local eateries.
• Records from January 2008 show Barlow spent $537 at Costco for food and $1,460 at local eateries in Colorado City.
According to a volunteer firefighter, the district's fire stations are not equipped with sleeping quarters or kitchens.
Now, let's fast forward six months, since none of us has heard a single word about the investigation or any possible charges...
After contacting a reliable source in Mohave County, they made inquiry with the Mohave County Attorney's Office to see what has been done, and the answer my friends, six months later?
According to an article in today's Mohave Valley Daily News:
"Deputy Mohave County Attorney James Schoppman said, the case is still being reviewed by his office for criminal charges against Barlow or Darger. The computers are being examined by experts from the state’s Attorney General’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Phoenix.
6 months. Move along folks, nothin' to see here...