UPDATE 7-21-01 REBUTTAL and EDitor's letter to Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune
in response to the DPS investigation. (Article below toward the end of this Rip-off Report)
UDATE:12-4-00 Lawsuit Filed by 9 officers, more to file soon.
See complaint in it's entirety below, after original Reports that were filed.
Mesa Arizona Police discrimination policy against it's own officers
UPDATE 8-8-00: The following story now involves more than 30 officers that have come forward, all with similar claims with even more severe violations. Another update will follow soon.
badbusinessbureau.com has conducted over a 9 month investigation into certain discriminatory Policies of the Mesa Police Department.Click here to read other Rip-off Reports on Mesa Arizona
Officers have stated to the badbusinessbureau.com and the Civil Rights Movement "things with the Mesa Arizona City Government (particularly the police department) and some issues that are surrounding the Mormon LDS Church are becoming a grave concern to many officers." We are told that, "there are a number of cases where it seems officers aren't being treated fairly."
We are also told by another officer, that, "Officers in the PD are getting transfers to preferred assignments who are less qualified than others." "The officers who are not getting the transfers all seem to be minority officers." "The officers getting the transfers are certainly good people but it seems that there are better qualified officers for the jobs."
For instance, officers have been getting transfers into special assignments that have only two or three years on the job. Officers not getting the assignments are more experienced and have more education in those fields. The officers getting the transfers more often than not are Mormon. The officers in the positions to make the transfers are Mormon.
Another case said one officer, "We are often told to target the migrant farm workers and day laborers for violations." "At one time we were told to enforce city codes against Hispanic vendors." "We were told to only target them because they were getting complaints." The Civil Rights Movement and the badbusinessbureau.com knew at the time, Mormon vendors were not targeted and they were only a block away. When we questioned the officers involved, they seemed to be ashamed, so they did not end up writing tickets, they just gave the vendors a warning.
We were also told by another officer about a case where a Mormon boy was arrested for 4 pounds of marijuana at his apartment complex. Pursuant to the Arizona crime free multi-housing law, this family should have been evicted. The boy's father contacted the bishop and leaned on the Mormon apartment manager and they made her keep the family there. The officer stated he spoke to the complex's attorney and he felt the family should be evicted but the bishop talked the manager out of taking that action. The officer said, "I am certain if it were a non-Mormon person, they would have been immediately evicted, this is policy."
These are just a few examples of situations that many officers have seen over the years.
Again, The Civil Rights Movement and the badbusinessbureau.com have been investigating this for many months. A full investigative story is now in the works and will be updated here as we get more information.
At this time we can definitely say that the Mesa Police Department is a hostile work environment. Employee records are being marked to ruin officers careers, officers fear retaliation for speaking out, officers are being forced to transfer, and superior officers have lied and even committed crimes only to be promoted soon after. Most of these officers are Mormon officers of course, the ones who are not are just good ole boys doing what they are told by the Mormon officers.
The above statments refers to police officers who were often told to target the migrant farm workers and day laborers for violations. badbusinessbureau.com & the Arizona Civil Rights Movement interviewed an officer months ago who stated, "At one point there was a direct order to target the business owners with the trucks who pick up the day laborers and stop illegally in the street, causing a traffic hazard, but that came to a screeching halt when the department realized the businesses getting the summonses were Mormon business owners for the most part. This policy was squashed and as far as this officer knew, the tickets were squashed as well.
This writer has knowledge of incidents over the last 8 years where all types of crimes that have been committed by Mormon citizens have been squashed by the Mesa Police Department, many of them being sex crimes including incest.
Our thought is, that Chief of Police Jan Strauss (a Mormon) is nothing but a puppet being driven by the other male Mormon police officers. As nice as Mrs. Strauss seems, the chief's open door policy will not work for fear of retaliation and a lack of trust among the officers.
A solution to the problem would be that, the Mesa Police Department needs to develop a fair and equitable transfer policy not being run by the Mormon officers and their good ole boy network of non-Mormon officers. The Mesa Police Department must also develop a cultural diversity program involving every officer in every department.
An overhaul of the department's disciplinary action policy, their hiring and promotion policy, investigation procedures, transfer policy for officers and dealing with minorities in the community all need to be looked at and changed.
Officers who have been wronged should be compensated by the city of Mesa now so there is no lawsuit. For once the City of Mesa should do the right thing.
City Manager Mike Hutchinson, show the citizens of Mesa that the Charles Luster corruption and ways of doing business are gone and he is not controlling you. Mike, that is factual opinion among the City of Mesa employees.
Anyone who has been wronged by the city of Mormon in the past and tried to sue, will know, if you sue them for one million dollars, they will spend one million and one dollars to fight it no matter how wrong they are.
The City of Mesa is not capable of investigating this. If the City does not mend its ways and soon, charges must filed with the EEOC and the State of Arizona Civil Rights Division. The clock is ticking.
ED Magedson[email protected]bad
Click here to check out other corruption in Arizona.
..............UPDATE: 8-11-00 Letters from readers
Subj:Rebuttal to Report Mesa Police
Date:8/10/00 9:26:10 AM US Mountain Standard Time
I just wanted to congratulate you on your success in getting your
anti-Mormon message spewed throughout our community. Of course the AZ Republic will never invetigate you and see that your hatred of Mormons clouds your vision. It took me 3 minutes of invetigation to find that out.
As a member of the law enforcement community I was just wondering if you are there for me too? My Mormon faith is brought up by my co-workers daily. I have been denied jobs before also. Are you there for me too? If you are trying to sound like a legitimate anti-corruption organization you sure fooled me. If you wanted to vent your anti-Mormon sentiments under cover then you are right on target. Lucky for you the local media hates us too. Hates Us. Now that sounds like corruption that someone should investigate. If only...
.............Response below from Eldon Bishop of www.MesaAZcorruptionReport.com and the badbusinessbureau.com
I am glad you kept you letter short, those really long ones we get sometimes contain award winning complex compound run-on sentences that are nearly impossible to answer due to their length if you know what I mean buddy.
First I would like to point out, we are not anymore anti Mormon than we are anti-Mexican Mafia. Each group has their faults.
I did note that as a police officer you should seek counseling from your sergeant concerning your grammar and spelling. If you have to testify in court and the defense attorney catches your spelling errors on a report they will laugh you off the witness stand.
Here, let me help a little..
1. "Invetigate" I think you mean Investigate, Invetigate has something to do with vegetables......maybe,
2. Please don't end sentences in a preposition, that hurts my ears. "I have been denied jobs before also." Should be : (I have been denied jobs.)
I know, nobody's perfect. The denial of jobs may have to do with your spelling and grammar. I use my spell checker so I can avoid embarrassment,
3. What kind of an investigation can be accomplished by you in three minutes? We spend hours and sometimes weeks verifying all that is posted on the website.
Are we there for you? Yes, send us a real gripe or problem that we can document and you will receive help as anyone would.
If you just want to criticize our work you may do that by citing specific examples of our errors or omissions. You document it, we will publish it on the site.
.............MORE LETTERS BELOW....................
From: [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: discriminated police
Sent: 8/10/00 8:54 AM
I'm surprised that this Mesa Mormon thing hasn't surfaced before now. I really got a kick out of what Commander Strauss said how she just couldn't believe that being a Mormon had anything to do with it. Now, I'm an old Horse that has been to the Barn a few times in my life and find it is so entrenched in Mesa that it came out with a different label, that the paper calls
By the way. reporting on it many days after it was on TV
news. Lets face it - Mormons here in Mesa make up a majority in Politicians, Police, Judges, Attorneys, Fireman, other City Employees, Newspaper Reporters and Media people.
I ask you how does one non-Mormon get a fair shake in such an environment, you say this shouldn't happen here, well it has and been going on for a long time now, so I really don't expect this to get much play and to get squelched like all other Mormon Cult events.
But it is always nice to hear of a group like yours that does make a difference and tries to be a voice for those that need it! We all have seen this kind of favoritism like receiving special consideration for being an Elk or a Mason or an Alum
of ASU or an old High school buddy you know what I mean. They have the nerve to say it doesn't exist and have no preferences, which is nothing but the biggest batch of BS I have ever heard! If I ever see a separation of Church and State here in Mesa it will be after I'm dead and gone.
Again it needs to be said, Thanks for your part in trying to make things right.
William L. Martin [email protected]
...............Another Letter below
From: Nicholson, Kenneth W [email protected]
To: '[email protected]
Subject: Article in AZ Republic -- Suit threat by officers, Mesa Chief says
Sent: 8/10/00 1:02 PM
The article about "Preferred" treatment given to Mormons is not restricted to officers, it's anyone competing for a job position or promotion in Mesa, as well as Phoenix. For nearly 8-years I lived in a Mormon neighborhood in Mesa, my children and I were looked upon as out casts and excepts us not to live in "their neighborhood" all because my family is Black American and non-white Mormon.
This sort of thing happen at my company, where I was ignored and eventually almost fired because the area which I worked was reserved for whites, but, if you were Mormon, you got the pay raises, promotions and other benefits. Although qualified and sought after, once it was learned I was Black, they wanted to
"ease" me out.
Not until I filed discrimination charges did I get my job back and force sweeping changes.
Another cast of preference is the wearing of a Mormon ring which guarantees much more beneficial living in Mesa.
Not all Mormons have prejudices, most are really good people, whom are friends of mine. The acceptance of non Mormons into business, homes, or management positions is improving since 1984 when I first moved to Mesa -- but don't expect open arms here in the valley of the sun with most of them. [email protected]
........EDITORS NOTE: 8-11-00
In the last few days more than 40 Police Officers (many high ranking offices) have stepped forward to give supporting affidavits to what they have witnessed. They feel they have been victimized by the Police Department and wish to be parties to a law suit to be filed against the City of Mesa for racial mistreatment, false reporting, false documentation and the violation of the officers first, fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution. Many violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as well as violations of the Special Civil Rights act of 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 have occurred within the department for years under Chief Strauss and her predecessors.
The city claims we have an ax to grind! (does the city know something we don't?) what are the facts? What was the incident that dulled our ax?
Speak up City, what ax? We are waiting!
The truth is, when our website commenced, we noticed most of the complaints we received concerned persons involved in the Church of LDS.
Some writers have said we hate Mormons, .. (These writers have all failed to show any evidence of any prejudiced on our part)
We dislike the power brokers, the privileged, the white supremacists.
The old city council and city manager still have their greedy, corruptive paws in the cities socialistic structure.
It just happens that in Mesa, it isn't the Mexican Mafia, skinhead nazis or the Baptists. The bulk of the dastardly activities we hear about from our readers are..The Mormons.
Mormons are known for teaching good family values, and to know them personally, you would not want to meet nicer people.
They're beating up on the non Mormon kids in both Mesa and Gilbert schools.. I'm sure there are other schools we do not know of where the teachers do not punish the LDS students.
See several Arizona Republic Articles week of Tues. April 11.
O' yah, badbusinessbureau.com helped a Mormon lady and her girl friend get her money that was owed to her by a business she worked for. Then she screwed us. No reason to grind an ax over that. This was after we began our reporting. Read that article at this web address: http://www.badbusinessbureau.com/view.asp?id=1502
Both the Arizona Civil Rights Movement and the badbusinessbureau.com were formed to protect the rights of all people, including the police and the Mormons.[email protected]Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Mesa ArizonaClick here to read other Rip Off Reports on various Police Departments