Goddard’s partisan witchhunt against conservative Dowling ends in probation for minor misdemeanor

Dr. Sandra DowlingCommon sense prevailed. Yet another partisan witchhunt by Attorney General Goddard thwarted by the rule of law. After millions of dollars were spent on a trumped-up investigation of Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sandra Dowling, all that is left is a minor misdemeanor for nepotism (hiring her daughter for a $5/hr job) – something numerous other public officials have done but haven’t been prosecuted for, probably because nobody really cares about low-paying jobs. Dowling was sentenced yesterday by Judge Burke to probation until her term expires this fall. She is not running for reelection.

Dowling has said the Board of Supervisors got Goddard to investigate her because they didn’t like her expanding the accommodation school district (which serves homeless and alternative students). Dowling’s Thomas J. Pappas school for the homeless was wildly popular, but the Board of Supervisors didn’t care. After much litigation, the courts agreed with Dowling that Arizona statutes do not make it clear that the Board of Supervisors have control over the purse strings to fund Dowling’s accommodation schools. According to the Republic, “The Board of Supervisors is suing Dowling to recover the money that they say she stole – even though the $1.9 million theft charge was dismissed….In the criminal court proceeding Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Edward Burke rebuked the prosecutors who asked for restitution on behalf of the victims – the Board of Supervisors – saying, “There’s no restitution required in my opinion, because there wasn’t a dime that was taken.”

Kudos to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office which took over the prosecution from Goddard. Recovering from such a botched politically motivated prosecution without causing more damage was difficult, but the District Attorney was able to resolve it fairly satisfactorily without validating the partisan charges. At the sentencing, Dr. Dowling presented numerous letters of support, including letters from Rep. Trent Franks, Barry Goldwater, Jr., and Sen. Carolyn Allen.

Let’s hope this isn’t the end of Dowling. She has been a tremendous supporter of home schoolers. She’s a fighter, and we’d like to see her come back again. Which supervisorial district does she live in…..


  1. There is no way Arpaio gets out of his obscene role in this!

  2. I don’t see how this is a partisan witchhunt. It was Arpaio that started this thing by storming into her offices and home. It was the 4-1 Republican majority Board of Supervisors that tried to remove her and killed the Pappas school.

    And it’s called simply the U.S. Attorney’s Office, not the “district” attorney’s office.

  3. I would lay the mess at the Jokester’s doorstep. Why is he getting off the hook?

  4. TriednTrue says

    I still can’t believe Don Stapley had the gall to make the statement he made: “Guilty is still guilty. Ask yourself: When was the last time you were on probation? It’s a big deal.”

    The Board of Supervisors are the least scrutinized bunch of elected officials in the political arena and yet, their mistakes are costing county taxpayers millions of dollars!

  5. I think she lives in Max Wilson’s district. She won’t have my vote!

  6. Did you notice the County is finally changing its accounting methods? After years of mismanagement, the county is joining the 21st Century when it comes to how to account for its money. Amazing what these people have managed to get away with!

  7. You realize, as well, that this county is one who admitted in the aftermath of 2004 Katrina that they didn’t have a comprehensive disaster plan for the county. The county has had an emergency planning department since 1902. What had they been doing for 102 years if they didn’t produce a plan?

  8. Now who was it that said this was all about the property, not Sandra dowling nor the school…..maybe they were correct?

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