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Conflict of interest with $347 million downtown Phoenix court tower?

Story.jpg[Source: Josh Bernstein, ABC News 15] — It’s the largest construction project in Maricopa County history, but the new-state-of- the-art court tower is shrouded in secrecy.  “And why is any of this secret? What does the county have to hide?” said Clint Bolick, an attorney with the Goldwater Institute. “This is not a matter of national security. It is not some sort of tense lawsuit that the county has.  This is a run of the mill project.”

The $347 million dollar taxpayer-funded project is already under criminal investigation by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  But it’s the secrecy and the apparent conflict of interest that has Bolick outraged.  “This is a flagrant abuse of public trust,” said Bolick, a former attorney with the United States Department of Justice.

Documents obtained exclusively by the ABC15 Investigators reveal attorney Thomas K. Irvine and his firm are representing both the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who are funding the project, and the Maricopa County Superior Court, that will occupy the building. “It is a blatant conflict of interest, one of the first kinds of conflicts you learn about in law school,” Bolick said.  “It’s a matter of the fox guarding the hen house.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]