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Stories by Evan Wyloge

Emails reveal close ties between construction firms, top school officials

Emails obtained by AZCIR from four school districts show the depth of the relationships construction company executives have cultivated with school district administrators: trips to Mexico and French Polynesia, golf outings and visits to restaurants.... Read more»0

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Deconstructed

Az upends school procurement laws in effort to cool cozy relationships with builders

Included in the new $10.4 billion Arizona budget are massive changes to how public schools will be allowed to hire builders for large construction projects, as well as harsh new penalties for malfeasance that occurs during the selection process. But charter schools are exempted.... Read more»0

Arizona poised for hefty 2018 election spending

There were no statewide or legislative elections in 2017, but the year marked the most prolific campaign fundraising year since the state began keeping the records in an electronic database, setting up the 2018 election for massive political spending.... Read more»0

Ducey campaign double reports $1.1 million in contributions

Campaign finance reports summarizing the money raised and spent by Arizona political committees during 2017 show more than $1 million in contributions that have been double reported because of how money raised by Gov. Doug Ducey’s joint fundraising committee has been documented.... Read more»0

AG asks court to halt Scottsdale school construction over procurement violations

The Arizona Attorney General's office filed a civil injunction Thursday against Scottsdale Unified School District seeking to prevent further construction on Hohokam and Cheyenne elementary schools, following multiple investigations into possible procurement and conflict of interest violations that have roiled the district's administration. ... Read more»0

Az schools cite incorrect data, repairs, threats in letter-grade appeals

Seventy-three schools are appealing the letter grades they’ve been given by Arizona school officials, citing a variety of reasons why their ratings should be improved. Amphi's CDO and Helen Keeling appealed, as did Sonoran Science Academy.... Read more»0

Az Dep't of Education releases school grades after pushing reporter from office

After refusing to release school letter grade records distributed to Arizona public schools and claiming that no list of all scores existed, the Department of Education has reversed course and released the records to media outlets who sought them.... Read more»3

Az Dep't of Education forcibly removes reporter asking to inspect records

The Arizona Department of Education physically pushed an AZCIR reporter out of its Capitol Mall offices Thursday in response to a request to inspect the latest school letter grade records. The agency’s security guard told AZCIR’s reporter he was trespassing and pushed him out of the public building.... Read more»0

Reagan vows to begin maintaining records of voter roll changes

Every day, the thousands of voting jurisdictions in the U.S. share information about current voter registrations to guard against people being registered in multiple places. Up until earlier this year, Arizona's Secretary of State was not keeping copies of those voter registration notifications.... Read more»1

Ex-Az utility regulator, lobbyist, owner charged with bribery

Federal prosecutors charged former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce, his wife, prominent lobbyist Jim Norton and utility owner George Johnson with conspiracy, bribery and fraud over what prosecutors lay out as a scheme to pay off Pierce in return for favorable regulation surrounding a special $18 million wastewater plant deal.... Read more»0

State election chief seeks new funds for hobbled campaign finance website overhaul

Secretary of State Michele Reagan campaigned on making it easier for people to see how money flows into political campaigns. But after spending $494,000 on a new website that never saw the light of day, her office is now asking the Clean Election Commission to pay $200,000 of an estimated $462,000 cost to develop a new website, plus $50,000 per year in maintenance.... Read more»0

State Election director denies demanding voters be purged

A top staffer at the Arizona Secretary of State Office denied accusations made by county recorders earlier this week that the office ordered voter registrations to be cancelled without proper documentation.... Read more»0

County recorders: Sec State's office not justifying demands to purge voters

Arizona’s 15 county recorders sent a letter to Secretary of State Michele Reagan, saying communication with her office is “in a dire state” because Election Director Eric Spencer has been “ineffective and disrespectful,” and created legal conflicts with demands to remove voters from registration rolls.... Read more»1

Fired ED sues Az Democratic Party, alleges self-dealing

According to a lawsuit filed this month, the Arizona Democratic Party chair directed expenditures toward her friend and husband, and when the party's top staffer objected to the payments, she was fired. "The allegations are false. There is no self-dealing. She's making these claims only since she was let go," the chair said.... Read more»5

Secretary of State floats overhaul of Az election laws

Secretary of State Michele Reagan has begun circulating a memo detailing a proposed overhaul of the laws governing virtually every aspect of how elections are conducted in Arizona, from data protocols and recount procedures, to “sore loser” candidates and voter fraud investigations.... Read more»0

Republicans, not Latinos, doomed Arpaio at the polls

“Sheriff Joe” inspired outrage among Maricopa County’s Hispanic community for years, but the final blow to his political fortunes came from Republicans as his support cratered in reliably GOP areas, denying his bid for a seventh term.... Read more»0

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