David Iglesias

More from this show

Former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias talks to HORIZONTE about his recent tell-all book, In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration. The book details his experience and personal feelings about being removed from his position.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Good evening I'm Jose Cárdenas, welcome to Horizonte. The future of public safety without Maricopa County Sheriff patrols in the Town of Guadalupe-what's being done to secure the safety of its residents. Plus a new book by David Iglesias tells us his story as one of the federal prosecutors fired by the Bush Administration. And the need for more Hispanic blood donors in Arizona. That's all coming up next on Horizonte…

>>Announcer:
Funding for "Horizonte" is provided by SRP. SRP's business is water and power, but our dedication to the community doesn't stop there. SRP delivering more than power.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office conducted a two day crime suppression operation in the Town of Guadalupe back in April. Guadalupe Mayor Rebecca Jimenez claims she was misled as to the purpose of the operation. This led to Sheriff Joe Arpaio announcing that his office would no longer offer police protection in that community. Now Guadalupe officials are in the process of finding a new law enforcement provider. Joining me to talk about this and more issues is the Mayor of Guadalupe, Rebecca Jimenez.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Mayor, thanks for joining us.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
It's a pleasure to be here.

>> Jose Cárdenas:
A lot of people have heard of Guadalupe and don't know much about it. So just give me a few seconds on the Town of Guadalupe.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Guadalupe is less than a square mile. It is situated between the communities of Phoenix and Tempe. It's a unique community with roughly 6,000 residents, Mexican and Yaqui --we're a beautiful community. We are doing exciting things right now. I am working on a dental clinic. I'm working on the first ever Guadalupe Chamber of Commerce. I want to get a Latino and Native American Arts Center in the Town of Guadalupe. Many exciting things.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Something else of excitement, not as positive though, was the confrontation between you and Sheriff Joe Arpaio back in April. And as I understand it you understood the sheriff's presence was going to be one thing and it turned out to be another.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
On the morning of April 3rd, I came in and there was an e-mail sent out the night before from our then interim town manager. He stated that the sheriff's office would come in to do a saturation patrol. I called him into the office and we called a Lieutenant Shepherd, who was the MCSO's (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's) point man for Guadalupe. We had a conference call. In that conference call he said Arpaio would be there. And I know Arpaio doesn't go anywhere unless it has something to do with immigration. So I straight out asked him, does it have anything to do with illegal immigration sweeps? And he said I assure you it has nothing to do with immigration. It is to show our presence because the recent rise in graffiti, and, you know, shootings that are -- people shooting in the air and things such as that nature.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And so then they showed up later in the day?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I had another meeting with a council member, and the interim town manager not related to this at all, and our town clerk Rosemary Arellano stuck her head in and said there is media out there. Then my phone started ringing off the hook. At that point I knew something was definitely up. Then I got an e-mail from one of the media outlets that had the MCSO press release that stated that we wanted the sheriff's department, we requested because of the recent rise in crime with illegal immigrants and town residents, totally untrue. We never-

>>Jose Cárdenas:
That happened later in the day--what did you do after you got that information?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
After I got that information, again, I --when I got that information, it was about 2:10, 2:15, I had to pick up my kids at 2:30. There was nobody around. The interim town manager wasn't around, the town clerk. So I ran out of town hall, picked up my children. Came back.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Sheriff's office already there?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
They were setting up. Actually when I was at one of my son's schools, I used the school's phone, called the town clerk and told her the email that I had just received and what it stated. The MCSO's press release. I guess she ran and told the town manager. By the time I came back she said that he had no idea.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
The town manager didn't know what was going on --

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
The interim town manager claimed that he had no idea, that he turned red. He had already done some interviews already.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And in the meantime the sheriff officers are there. How many were there?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I hear different numbers. I heard a total of maybe 200 posse members and deputies.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
This is what made the news show that night and a period of timeafter. You had a confrontation with the sheriff on camera. How did that come about?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
The reason I was not out there earlier, there were people asking why I wasn't out there earlier. We had a special meeting to pass our dust control ordinance. I looked over a press release and took it out there.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
About this subject?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Yes, our own press release stating that the town never requested that the MCSO come, that we never reported increased tensions between illegal immigrants and town residents.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And was that what the sheriff's press release said -that there were tensions between people who were here illegally and other town residents.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Yes.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And that was not true?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
That was not true. So as soon as I came out there it was really chaotic. There were protesters. It was really organized, but it was chaotic for myself. It was happening in my town. Here it was happening in my town. Media started coming in my face wanting interviews. After I gave all of the interviews, I have noticed that he was out there talking to a Channel 12 reporter off camera, Sheriff Arpaio off camera to a Channel 12 reporter. At that moment I took the opportunity to go and hand them our press release from the Town of Guadalupe.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And how did he react?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
He just started shouting at me. He's like you're the one that is inciting the riots by handing out this press release to the crowd and endangering my deputies.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I said I never handed out these. They were meant to go to the media. It might have ended up in their hands. It was our press release. It was not inciting a riot-

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And was there in fact a reaction from the crowd to your press release?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
The crowd was excited. There was-Alfredo Gutierrez was there on one of those bullhorns, and he was just letting the crowd know that the mayor did not request the sheriff here. The mayor is telling the sheriff to leave and they got excited and that was about it. They got so excited that I guess one of his horses backed up a bit and got scared.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And the sheriff got pretty excited with you --

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I handed him the press release. That is when he started shouting. The Channel 12 reporter put her microphone, they got the story. He started saying that we requested him to be there. I said we never requested -- he said forget the press release. I asked him to cease his operation immediately in our town -to cease the immigration sweeps in our town.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And he responded that he would cease?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
He said he was not going to. I am going to be back tomorrow. As he started to walk away, he was still shouting. You have 90 days to cancel this contract if you choose to do so. That is kind of what happened there.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
I want to follow up on that. Before we do. Let's talk about the history of the sheriff's office and the Town of Guadalupe. They have been providing services for 20, 30 years?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
For the last 20 years.

>> Jose Cárdenas:
What level of operation, couple of deputies?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
The contract is 1.6 deputies. Sometimes there are two, sometimes one. So maybe that's where they get the two deputies. Other times when you know they are going to do a saturation patrol, you will see five or six. You know they're up to something that night.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Any prior complaints about the service they were providing?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
For several months before I got onto to counsel in December of 2007 I would sit at every single meeting and just about every meeting somebody the call to the public would be there to express a concern that they had with the deputies being harassed, or civil rights being violated, there's a host of complaints so it wasn't anything foreign-it's been happening for years where people are unhappy with the level of service that the sheriff's department has been providing for the town.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Now you talked about harassment what do you mean when you say level of service?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
The response time is one of them. For priority one calls, I mean I witnessed response times as much as 45 minutes.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And that had been going on in the recent years?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Yes.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
So what are you now doing in response with the sheriff's statement that the contract is going to expire?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Well a couple of weeks after April 3rd, after he invaded our town, they came in and personally hand-delivered a note saying the sheriff is 180 days and he wants out of Guadalupe. After that you saw all of the deputies that provide service to Guadalupe, or most of them, I think that about 13 went to the Phoenix City Hall to hand I guess Mayor Phil Gordon a letter saying if you want Guadalupe and the keys to the sub-station here it is. I guess that was the purpose, to kind of say we don't want them. You want them? Go ahead and take them.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
You have been reaching out to other cities.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Right. We don't have the resources to start our own department. I would think it would take a good three years to try to get those resources and make sure that we have a viable police department. In the meantime, because we're faced with this 180 day cancellation notice, I made a couple of letters up, and I have been hand delivering them to surrounding cities.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
You have been talking to the City of Tempe?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
One of the letters went to the City of Tempe.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Where does that stand?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
We met with them. Myself and our city, our town clerk, interim town manager of April 24th Rosemary Arellano, and we met with City Manager frank I mean Charlie Myers, and --

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Does it look like Tempe is going to take over?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
It was a really positive meeting, but there were no contracts, you know, there was nothing set in stone. It was positive. It was left positive. For now though what I think needs to be done and what has been done, I asked the town attorney to send a letter to the Maricopa Board of Supervisors asking them if they are going to honor Arpaio's cancellation. Our contract is with the board of supervisors not with Arpaio he's a signer on the contract --

>> Jose Cárdenas:
So do you want to extend the contract at least for a period of time while you're looking for other alternatives?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Our contract as it stands is until 2010. At this point there is so much negative with the sheriff's department, do we want out? Yes, we want out. We don't want to be threatened or bullied into a corner. We want to be sure that our town will have police services and the amount of time it will take if another city is going to come in. They need time to set up.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Mayor let me ask you about another incident that made the news after this, you being pulled over by a sheriff's deputy and accused of making some statements to that deputy.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
A few weeks after April 3rd, coming from town hall at 9:15 p.m., I live two or three minutes from town hall. The driver's side headlight, the light bulb was out. It was not cracked it was not a taillight it was a driver's side light bulb so-

>>Jose Cárdenas:
We're almost out of time. But as I understand it-He pulled you over. There were allegations as to what you may have said to him after he gave you a ticket, which as I understand it, you don't dispute the ticket?

>>Rebecca Jimenez: No, I don't dispute the ticket. The ticket, you know -- that particular deputy that pulled me over that night was very professional. He was courteous.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
But he accused you of making statements.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I think right away when they figured--when they learned that he pulled the mayor of Guadalupe over, they probably interrogated him and then maybe twisted his words around a bit.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Within an hour there was something --

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
I got home after receiving the ticket, got home by 10:00 p.m. by 10:15 it was all over the news. Every media outlet had pictures of me saying the Mayor of Guadalupe was cited. It was like the breaking news story of the night.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
They said you made inappropriate comments to the deputy, is that true?

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Well, they mentioned that I said I knew a judge that would take care of it, as if I was implying that I was going to be crooked of some sort. No, I never implied that. I said I guess I will be seeing a judge. I got a ticket. I will be seeing a judge. Nobody likes to get a ticket. One lesson I learned from this, keep it zipped as much as possible. I have had many encounters with the deputies over the years, and this particular deputy he was professional and courteous. In no way did I say or plan to evade the ticket.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And mayor I'm sorry but we are out of time. We'll have to leave it on that note. Thank you so much.

>>Rebecca Jimenez:
Thank you.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
David Iglesias was one of the federal prosecutors fired by the Bush Administration in 2006 for what White House officials say was due to "performance-related issues." Horizonte's Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez talks to David Iglesias about the events leading to his removal in office in his latest book: In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration.

>>David Iglesias:
I wanted the American people to understand why this is such a big deal. A lot of times you will hear on talk radio, you know, they're a bunch of political appointees, serve at the pleasure. Any reason -- that's just not true. Most reasons are completely okay to let go a political appointee. When you start weaving all of the disturbing threats, what happened to Paul Charlton here in Arizona, Carol Lamb, McKay, Cummings, myself, it looks very much like interfering with ongoing investigations. It looks like retaliation for investigating or convicting Republican members of Congress. That is not what the Justice Department has ever done. It is just wrong. I wanted to speak out. I am a son of a minister. Right and wrong is something that means a lot to me. I wanted to lay out in very simple terms why this was so wrong and why the American people need to care about their criminal justice system.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Did you ever question yourself as a person? As a professional that you were at that moment?

>>David Iglesias:
No. But I remember thinking, if I speak out, I mean, the only really hard question initially is do I speak out about this? Do I just go away quietly like my former colleague Johnny Sutton advised me to do. If I spoke out I would be taking on the most powerful Republican in my state, Pete Dominicci, I would be taking on Heather Wilson, who was pretty popular. I knew despite my desires to run for office after my U.S. Attorney job, that like Cortez, I had to burn the ships at the beach. I knew there was no going back. And that's why it was so difficult. I knew it would be a life altering event for me.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Did you ever feel fear?

>>David Iglesias:
Absolutely. Not personal fear in the sense they're going to hire thugs to beat me up. A cold, paralyzing fear I'm going to have a hard time getting a job, I will get black listed, I will be treated as persona ingrata and to a certain extent some of that did occur, but the response from the rank and file citizen in New Mexico, throughout the country has been tremendous.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
When I read that book, you got emotional --

>>David Iglesias:
I have never been as angry in my entire life. I am a pretty key low person, pretty calm. When they forced out superstars like Charlton, McKay, Lamb. They didn't take low-producing, low morale offices, they picked on people who did the right thing but that wasn't good enough because they wanted the politically expedient things. That is not what attorneys do in any administration liberal or conservative.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
You had Karl Rove directly involved in one of your friend's removal that you talk about in that book and his battle between what to do and not to do.

>>David Iglesias:
I feel terribly for Bud, because they told the truth about Bud Cummings in Arkansas being removed. Because they wanted to give one of Rove's lieutenants a job. And the guy's only qualification was opposition research against Al Gore. He's never been a prosecutor. I think he had done a few cases in the Army Reserve. In terms of having a caseload, dealing with victims, going to crime scenes, he hadn't done that. He didn't understand incredible -- not just the power, but the responsibility that you have as a U.S. Attorney.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
I'm glad you said it. You get angry. Even your wife questioned you when you came home. She questioned you. You said she questioned me. I couldn't believe it but I could understand it. Did you do anything that you were not supposed to have done?

>>David Iglesias:
I think any spouse would have asked that question. You get fired and you think it is because you did something wrong. That is the natural response. In this case, not just for me, but for all of us, we did the right thing and that was the basis for our removal.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Do you feel your integrity; your persona was directly attacked?

>>David Iglesias:
Not initially. But later on when they were trying to say I was disgruntled, I should have known, I've zero rights as a political appointee. I should have gone away quietly. That completely fails to understand the bigger picture. You can't politicize our decisions-we have to be independent.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Where do you go from here?

>>David Iglesias:
The Justice Department has made some progress in terms of reducing the amount of communication between the White House and the Justice Department. Karl Rove is gone, which is very important. Because he never understood, I write about him, thinking of this summer help with law degrees. I still think that. I think there is less of that going on now. But I think there won't be a complete redemption until there is a completely new administration.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Do you think there is a purpose for what you went through?

>>David Iglesias:
I feel that it is real important to find what your purpose in life is. My purpose was to help clean up the festering mess that was there at the Justice Department unexposed, hidden, and because of my colleagues and me, we were given an opportunity to help clean that mess up. The process has begun, and it will be complete sometime in the next few years.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Does this make you feel vindicated, or you are not there yet?

>>David Iglesias:
I'm very close to vindication. But you know what, when the inspector general's report comes out, that's the internal review, if it contains what I think it is going to contain, I am going to write to whoever is the attorney general and ask for a retraction. They have not retracted what they said about my colleagues and me.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
You are going to fight that.

>>David Iglesias:
I want a letter on Justice Department letterhead saying you were terminated for other than performance reasons.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
You're going to the private sector because that's something that you really never tapped into when you talked about that-

>>David Iglesias:
I have been in the private sector for about eight months or so, and it's nice to earn a nice paycheck.

>>Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez:
Do you like it better?

>>David Iglesias:
Better -- it is different. It is not concerning justice. It is concerning the bottom line. It is a different focus. But it is nice not to have to watch my back. That's a good feeling.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Iglesias is wrapping up his nationwide book tour in September.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Latinos are more likely than the average American to have Type "O" blood, the type blood banks value most because it can be used by so many patients. Now blood banks are increasing their efforts to boost Latino donations and recruit Hispanic blood donors. Joining us to talk about outreach efforts here in the Valley is Sue Thew. She handles media relations for United Blood Services Arizona.

>>Jose Cárdenas: Sue, tell us a little about U.B.S. many people have run into it but probably lots of people know nothing about it.

>>Sue Thew: Well United Blood Services is Arizona's oldest and largest non-profit community blood provider. We were established here in the Valley in 1943 and have been serving patients for more than 65 years. Our corporate headquarters for the entire country is here in the Valley for the whole country, and the blood systems, our parent company reaches out to 18 different states, but we serve the needs of about 50 hospitals here in the Arizona area.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
One particular need is Type "O" blood. Why is that?

>>Sue Thew:
Type "O" is the universal donor, it's the one blood type that can be substituted in times of emergencies for other blood types. If you have a trauma patient being rushed in with severe injuries, if they have Type "O" blood on hand, they don't have to wasting time typing blood because they know it is compatible. It's also the only blood type that is traditionally used to help pregnant women and premature babies when they need transfusions.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And it's a blood type that is fairly predominate among Latino Hispanics.

>>Sue Thew:
What is interesting about it, among the Caucasian populations we will find 37% of the population has "O" positive blood. About 6% "O" Negative. Among the Hispanic population, a much, much higher instance because it is tied to your ethnic background. So about 60% of the population is known to have Type "O."

>>Jose Cárdenas:
That is why you are now reaching out to the Latino community to get more donors from the community?

>>Sue Thew:
Not only, I mean, realize that Arizona is growing so quickly and with Mexico being one of our bordering areas that there is more and more Hispanics coming into Arizona than in many other states. Our population is growing with more Hispanic people living here; you can imagine there is more Hispanic patients as well. We need people with compatible blood types.

>> Jose Cárdenas:
What are you doing to get the people into the door?

>>Sue Thew:
The first thing is we have launched a full-out effort to develop a lot of our recruitment materials in Spanish. If you are going to have people that you want to attract that need the bilingual interviews, you need to communicate with them. We put together an entire diversity division. We got more marketing materials, talking about the need for blood, bilingual. We also have ramped up our efforts with a lot of bilingual staff to interview donors. We have a program where we can offer translation services for donors that come into areas that don't have Spanish speaking technicians available on the spot. Now what we need donors to help us accommodate that need by coming in to donate blood.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
You have an exciting event coming up. I want to be sure we talk about this before the interview ends. And it's Ultimate Blood Drive three-- something like that --

>>Sue Thew:
We are working with Tito Ortiz who is a five time world champion of Ultimate Fighting, and Tito, who has ties to Arizona, has graciously for the third year in a row --

>>Jose Cárdenas:
And we've got the promotional materials on the screen right now.

>>Sue Thew:
That's right-He is hosting the Ultimate Blood Drive Three --

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Strong resemblance between him and me I notice --

>>Sue Thew:
We were noticing that, especially the muscular build. And at any rate, Tito will be hosting this blood drive at Metrocenter on Saturday, July 26th. The blood drive goes from 9:30 to 3:30, and some really special things planned for the donors. Every donor that comes through the door will have the chance to meet Tito, a chance to shake his hand, talk with him for a moment and receive a personalized autographed photo. Tito's bringing along lots of apparel from his Punishment Athletics clothing line and will be raffling off Punishment Athletics apparel and one lucky donor will win lunch with Tito.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
We have the web site on the screen. They can get more information about the event.

>>Sue Thew:
If you go to the web site you will get all sorts of information about the blood drive with Tito Ortiz. Also, another exciting thing that is happening this summer for all donors at the Tito drive and for all donors across the Valley, every donor will be entered into a raffle to win a 2008 Saturn.

>>Jose Cárdenas: One last thing. Undocumented donors, what are you doing to reassure them?

>>Sue Thew: We do ask for I.D. when donors come in. Everything given to a blood bank is considered confidential. We use I.D. to identify who a person is at the blood bank and we don't release information to outside sources. Come in, bring your I.D., list of any medications, and we would be happy to answer any questions that people have. Do yourself a favor, and help a friend or family member by making sure we have an ample blood supply.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
That's a great message. Sue Thew United Blood Services thank you for joining us on Horizonte.

>>Sue Thew:
Thank you so much.

>>Jose Cárdenas:
Former governor Raul Castro talks about his personal life and how he got involved in politics in Arizona in the first of a two-part series airing next Thursday at 7:30 on Horizonte.

>> Jose Cárdenas:
I'm Jose Cárdenas. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a great evening. Captioning performed by lns captioning www.lnscaptioning.com

>>Announcer:
If you have questions or comments about "Horizonte," please write to the addresses on the screen. Your comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizonte."

David Iglesias:Former federal prosecutor and author;

5 woman performing for the Celtic Woman 20th Anniversary
airs Feb. 29

Celtic Woman 20th Anniversary Concert

A cute little duckling with text reading: Arizona PBS Ducks in a Row Event
March 6

Getting Your Ducks in a Row to Avoid Conflict When You Are Gone

A cactus blooms in the Sonoran Desert
airs Feb. 28

Desert Dreams: Celebrating Five Seasons in the Sonoran Desert

Barry Gibb singing (Bee Gees: In Our Own Time)
aired Feb. 24

Bee Gees: In Our Own Time

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: