Photo unit snaps GOP party chief speeding 109 mph

This is just too wild to not comment on. Never a dull moment here in Arizona with respect to photo enforcement! Two weeks ago the world’s first photo radar murder and now we have a politician (he’s not a legislator, he works for the party) *arrested* for criminal speeding and reckless driving.

How will this play with the County Attorney’s pronouncement (see Thomas says no to criminal speeding) that he will not prosecute any criminal case based solely on photo evidence?

For those who don’t follow Arizona state politics; the GOP is ideologically opposed to any sort of photo-enforcement because, among other reasons, they believe it is an encroachment on freedom. The statewide (along highways, as a practical matter this means freeways in Phoenix metro area) camera program, furthermore, is considered to have belonged to former Democratic governor Janet Napolitano. The balance of Napolitano’s term is being filled by Republican Jan Brewer, Republicans control both legislative houses — where there are several attempts to do away with the camera program in its entirety. But for a historically large state budget deficit, they would presumably have already succeeded. The loss of fine revenue being too much for even some Republicans to bear.

Links to stories: AZ Capitol Times, AZ Republic

Case Dismissed

the final outcome is is simple — case dimissed by JP John Keegan (something about the “Arrowhead” district). Az Rep story about dismissal.

Mecum claimed that his *arrest* was “politically motivated”. There are various conspiracy theories floating around, eg. left and right. Most revolve around Keegan’s GOP political affiliations (former mayor of Peoria, former legislator, wife of former superintendant of ed Lisa Graham Keegan).

Andy Thomas refused to bring charges, the Phoenix city attoney’s office did.

That all being as it may, Keegan routinely tosses all photo radar violations. He has a novel theory that they violate the 4th Amendment (equal protection). the theory is that if an officer issued the same ticket, the fine would have been greater.¬† In other words, he’s protecting camera-caught speeders from lower fines…. whaaaa?

By the way, the rightie blog linked above further claims the arrest by DPS (because they had no warrant) was completely illegal, claiming a violation of unreasonable seizure — in Atwater v. Lago Vista they made such a claim; that arrest for a misdemeanor w/punishment only a fine, but they lost at the US Supreme Court. The blogger claims that “warrantless arrests” are prohibited under Arizona law but provides no references.