The Arizona Republic and Channel 12 News (KPNX) decided to post the address and names of Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas and his family in an article published today on AZCentral. This is clearly a violation of Arizona law and provides a danger to the safety and security of County Attorney Thomas and his family.
The reporter, Brahm Resnik, made the information public in a story about Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the availability of his address. Resnik’s link included the home address and names of Andrew Thomas’ wife and children.
One has to wonder if Channel 12 News or the Arizona Republic have attorneys on staff? Did they bother to check Arizona Revised Statutes to pre-determine if they might be breaking the law? Here’s what the statutes states:
Arizona Revised Statute 13-2401.i.
Personal information on the world wide web; exception; classification; definitions
A. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make available on the world wide web the personal information of a peace officer, justice, judge, commissioner, public defender or prosecutor if the dissemination of the personal information poses an imminent and serious threat to the peace officer’s, justice’s, judge’s, commissioner’s, public defender’s or prosecutor’s safety or the safety of that person’s immediate family and the threat is reasonably apparent to the person making the information available on the world wide web to be serious and imminent.
B. It is not a violation of this section if an employee of a county recorder, county treasurer or county assessor publishes personal information, in good faith, on the web site of the county recorder, county treasurer or county assessor in the ordinary course of carrying out public functions.
C. A violation of subsection A is a class 5 felony.
D. For the purposes of this section:
1. “Commissioner” means a commissioner of the superior court.
2. “Immediate family” means a peace officer’s, justice’s, judge’s, commissioner’s, public defender’s or prosecutor’s spouse, child or parent and any other adult who lives in the same residence as the person.
3. “Judge” means a judge of the United States district court, the United States court of appeals, the United States magistrate court, the United States bankruptcy court, the Arizona court of appeals, the superior court or a municipal court.
4. “Justice” means a justice of the United States or Arizona supreme court or a justice of the peace.
5. “Personal information” means a peace officer’s, justice’s, judge’s, commissioner’s, public defender’s or prosecutor’s home address, home telephone number, pager number, personal photograph, directions to the person’s home or photographs of the person’s home or vehicle.
6. “Prosecutor” means a county attorney, a municipal prosecutor, the attorney general or a United States attorney and includes an assistant or deputy United States attorney, county attorney, municipal prosecutor or attorney general.
7. “Public defender” means a federal public defender, county public defender, county legal defender or county contract indigent defense counsel and includes an assistant or deputy federal public defender, county public defender or county legal defender.
All this has forced Andrew Thomas to bring on a security detail to protect his family from those who might want to cause him and his family harm.
While Brahm Resnik does not serve in the same capacity as Mr. Thomas as defined by law, it should be no problem then that this blog posts his personal information online. Perhaps he might get a better sense as to what those who serve and protect us experience in the battle for public safety.