Government Accountability

Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.

<p>Back-room deals and closed doors are not the stuff of free governments. Our work is making governments more transparent and accountable to citizens.</p>

The Goldwater Institute's Byron Schlomach appeared on KFYI to discuss how we are seeing more and more federal government intervention in the economy lately, and why such intervention can only make things worse.

Listen to Part One here.

Listen to Part Two here.

Phoenix--Continuing its efforts to monitor state government activities, the Goldwater Institute announces that renowned Arizona journalist Mark Flatten has joined the organization as an investigative reporter. Mr. Flatten's investigative reports have led to changes in the law and prompted numerous federal and state investigations.

One of the most effective ways to measure a law-enforcement agency’s performance is by the percentage of crimes it solves, known in legal circles as its “clearance rate.” Criminal investigations can be cleared in one of two ways: by arrest or by “exception.” Clearances by exception must meet rigid criteria that the FBI has used for 80 years.  Essentially, the perpetrator must be known to the police but cannot be apprehended due to special circumstances such as the suspect’s death. Although the criteria governing exceptional clearance are clear and objective, some law-enforcement agencies skirt the rules of exception to clear cases that do not meet the criteria, essentially declaring unsolved crimes solved to inflate the agency’s clearance rate. Clearing cases that have not been solved deprives crime victims of justice and may compromise public safety.

The Goldwater Institute released a policy brief called Justice Denied which accuses the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of improperly clearing many of its cases by exception, and calls on the legislature to require law enforcement agencies to post detailed information on clearance rates. Clint Bolick and a rape victim who had her case cleared by exception spoke at a news conference held at the Goldwater Institute.



At the recent two-day hearing at the Arizona State Senate's Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Jonathan Paton, Deputy Chief Paul Chagolla of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office testified repeatedly that there is no felony-warrant crisis in Maricopa County.

The assertion is as disconcerting as it is baffling. Maricopa County has 40,000 outstanding felony warrants - one for every 100 county residents. It has 61 percent of the state's population, but 73 percent of its unserved felony warrants.


Phoenix, Ariz.--Criminal investigations can be cleared in one of two ways: by arrest or by "exception." Clearances by exception must meet clearly defined FBI criteria in place for 80 years. In Maricopa County, Arizona, about three times as many cases that reach the Sheriff's Office are reportedly cleared by exception rather than arrest, which essentially reports unsolved crimes as solved. 

Phoenix--Goldwater Institute president and CEO, Darcy Olsen, has been named one of the Phoenix Business Journal's Forty Under 40. The prestigious award honors young leaders in the Phoenix area.

"Arizona is home to many talented young leaders across a spectrum of industries," said Darcy Olsen. "It forecasts a bright future for the Valley and to be named among them is truly an honor."

"I keep thinking about our first lawyer who told us to not to fight the city's decision to refuse our permit because it would cost too much and we had no way of winning. We're just so thankful to Goldwater.

Tom Preston owns a reputable tattoo studio in Mesa, Arizona and like many entrepreneurs he sought to expand his business with his wife Elizabeth, by opening a new shop in Tempe. After acquiring the permit, the Preston's signed a five year lease and invested $30,000 in the property. Then a local neighborhood group sought to deny the Prestons their economic liberty by appealing to the City Council. Based on negative stereotypes and personal opinions rather than hard evidence and facts, Mayor Hugh Hallman and the Council voted unanimously to override their own zoning officials and denied the permit. The Prestons were left with a long-term lease and stood to lose a significant capital investment.


Phoenix--For the second year in a row, the Goldwater Institute has been named Arizona's "Best Capitol Watchdog" by Arizona Capitol Times readers.

"If this award makes even one shady elected official break out in a cold sweat, we've done our job. Freedom needs a knight, and we're honored to lead the charge," said Darcy Olsen, president & CEO of the Goldwater Institute. "There are many extraordinary people working to keep government in check, and we couldn't be happier to be counted among them."