McCain weighs in on Maricopa County feud, backs Romley

By Nick R. Martin | August 20th, 2010 | 5:20 am | 9 Comments »

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley
Rick Romley

Onetime presidential nominee Sen. John McCain weighed in on the fierce political feud in Maricopa County on Thursday by endorsing Rick Romley in the Republican primary for county prosecutor.

In an email to Romley’s supporters, the Arizona senator praised the interim county attorney as a prosecutor who has the wherewithal to help sort out a nearly two-year political feud that has plagued the local government here.

“The extraordinary powers to indict and prosecute come with the extraordinary responsibility to apply them honorably,” McCain said. “Rick does.”

Romley, who previously served 16 years as county attorney, took over the office again in April after Republican Andrew Thomas resigned to run for state attorney general.

During Romley’s five year absence, Thomas used his role as chief prosecutor to target nearly a dozen county officials who he said engaged in a massive conspiracy to undermine his authority.

When Thomas resigned in April, one of his targets, the county Board of Supervisors, appointed Romley to help smooth out the feud.

“If you believe, as I do, that experience matters — that character matters — then you’ll understand why I’m so proud to stand with Rick Romley in the race for county attorney,” McCain said in his statement.

By endorsing Romley, McCain essentially butted heads once again with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the senator’s longtime adversary who is backing Romley’s opponent in the GOP primary.

Arpaio endorsed challenger Bill Montgomery, a former prosecutor in the county attorney’s office, and even paid for television commercials attacking Romley.

Romley and McCain, however, share more than just a common foe in Maricopa County. Both men are also veterans of the Vietnam War, where McCain was a POW and Romley lost both his legs.

McCain, who is also facing challengers in Tuesday’s primary, referred to the war connection as part of the endorsement, saying Romley “has spent nearly his entire life in service to others.”

“From his service to our country in Vietnam, where he lost both legs during battle,” McCain said, “to his relentless pursuit of justice for the victims of crime, Rick understands that doing what’s right, popular or not, is the true measure of service.”

The winner of Tuesday’s primary will go on to face Libertarian Michael Kielsky in the November general election. No Democrats are running in the race.

  • judy4arizona

    I don't like McCain and I voted for him in the Presidential election. He wrote the cap and trade bill, supports amnesty, and has been apart of the big spending that Washington is involved with.

    Thus I would have to look closely at the character of the candidate rather than going by his endorsement.

  • Get this guy on Posterous or WordPress now!

  • Bill Richardson

    According to the Arizona Republic, my Blog was dropped following a letter they received from the Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff and his assistant Charles Cobbs. I don't know where Sgt. Carbajal is getting his information?

    Who isn't telling the truth?

    And what about the letters attacking me the NAACP sent to the Arizona Republic at the behest of members of the Tempe PD?

    The 1st Amendment is dying on the vine in the City of Tempe.

  • Bruce Reynolds-

    My name is Bruce Reynolds- I am a former colleague of Bill Richardson. I recently sent the folliwng letter to the AZ Republic after reading the column that offended the Tempe PD.

    “Tell me Bill, why do you even care?”

    This statement was made by a Tempe police official when Bill Richardson, a columnist and retired Master Police Officer asked about violent crime in their city. Having worked for 16 years in law enforcement (including 14 in an Easy Valley police department) I was appalled at the comment. It is an insensitive and inappropriate comment for any public safety official to make to anyone.

    I am currently working overseas and have been for the past 19 years. This is the type of comment that you would expect from a government official in China, Burma, India or some other developing nation where life is cheap and corruption is the norm. For an management level official of a USA law enforcement agency to have the attitude reflected in this comment is disgusting.

    The Tempe Police official that made this statement should apologize to the victims of every violent crime in Tempe, Arizona and the USA. Then they should go and tender their resignation. Failing that, the Chief of Police should demand it.

    What are we becoming when those we appoint to protect us have no heart or soul?

  • Bob Satnan

    I'd like to say complaints about Bill's work is something new, but he has long been a needed thorn in the side to Valley law enforcement. Bill understands the issues and has worked hard to champion regional cooperation to better serve residents and keep them safe. When he wrote for the EVTrib while I was editorial page editor there, MCSO was constantly calling or e-mailing to complain about his columns; the difference is we stood up to the complainers and continued to give Bill a platform to write about meaningful local issues.

  • Eleanor

    What if is the Chief who uttered those lame words?

  • Eleanor

    Thanks for writing about this Mr. Martin. The lies that have come out of the Police Department only seem to get more and more ridiculous. Mr. Richardson has been working hard to write about things that need to be addressed in Tempe. Our City is a mess and our leadership is even worse. The idea that the Editors at the Republic caved to the intimidation is apalling. There have been many people who have been caving into the intimidation tactics used by the leadership in Tempe. Unfortunately this only allows them to believe they can get away with such behavior.

  • Richard Murphey

    Hello Bruce! This is Dick Murphey also a former colleague of both you and Bill. I've been on Bill's mailing list for several years and found him driving in his effort to get east Valley Police to work better together. The old statewide criminal information organization folded and that's it, I guess. We need information diggers for every department……

  • Dave

    What stinks is Richardson's attempt to be a reporter. Bill Richardson talks out of both ends. He bashes cops on a regular basis. There is no fowl play here – Richardson is a grouchy old man who does not check his facts.

    What goes around comes around, Bill. BTW, giving yourself made-up titles like “master” officer or reporter doesn't shun you from public backlash.