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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local March 26, 2015

8/27/2013 11:36:00 AM
Eight months later, no charges in Iron Brotherhood incident
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Patrick Whitehurst
Special to the Tribune

Eight months after the Iron Brotherhood bar fight in Prescott, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office still has not filed charges against any members.

In the Dec. 22, 2012, incident, members of the motorcycle club - composed of retired and current law enforcement and public safety employees - broke a man's nose following a confrontation. The fight, which was captured on a surveillance camera, took place at Moctezuma's bar, which has since changed its name to The Whiskey Row Pub.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety released a report on the incident in April, and the findings were subsequently handed to the attorney's office. Although four months have passed since then, Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Cobb said the DPS report is still under review.

"At this point, there has not been a charging decision, but we're still reviewing the case. It has not been declined," Cobb said. "We're reviewing that investigation for filing formal charges. That's what we do for every case."

Cobb could not confirm when the office would complete the review.

"Every case is different. Some are charged very quickly. Some take longer and require additional investigation," he said.

The DPS report recommended that charges of felony obstruction of criminal investigations and misdemeanor charges of false reporting to law enforcement be filed against former Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill Fessler and former Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking Sgt. Bill Suttle - both members of the Iron Brotherhood. Charges of disorderly conduct were also recommended against Justin Stafford, the man whose nose was broken in the Dec. 22, 2012, altercation.

Other charges include possible misdemeanor and disorderly conduct charges against Phoenix police officer Eric Amato and Ajo Ambulance paramedic Gregory Kaufmann, also members of the motorcycle club.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Deputy Mark Boan, fired last May in connection with his conduct during the DPS investigation, appealed his firing in July.

The appeal, conducted July 16, 19 and 22, ultimately upheld his termination. That appeal was heard by members of a county merit commission, said Yavapai County Assistant Human Resources Director Wendy Ross.

Others involved in the incident faced disciplinary action following internal reviews from a number of law enforcement agencies. Prescott Valley Police Department Cpl. Jason Kaufman received a week off without pay, six months of disciplinary probation and a written reprimand. Cpl. Tyran Payne's actions during the incident remain under review, said Interim Prescott Valley Police Department Police Chief James Edelstein.

"We don't know the results of the investigation yet," Edelstein said.

In July, DPS Spokesman Bart Graves said DPS Officer Bryce Bigelow faced termination for his actions during the incident.

Related Stories:
• Iron Brotherhood saga: some retire, some resign, some fired
• Charges filed against Phoenix officer in Iron Brotherhood bar fight
• Iron Brotherhood member resigns from Prescott Valley PD
• No charges yet in Iron Brotherhood criminal case
• Internal investigations continue into Iron Brotherhood incident
• YCSO deputy fired after review of conduct in Iron Brotherhood bar fight investigation

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