The End of Buz Mills’ Campaign

As one of our newest writers pointed out Saturday in a post exposing Buz Mills and his legal problems, today, Arizona Capitol Times reporter Jeremy Duda also exposes the past legal problems of the now gubernatorial candidate:

According to court documents, Mills bilked John Mortellite out of several million dollars by arranging the sale of OPM-USA, Inc. without telling Mortellite, then buying out Mortellite’s 10-percent share of the company for much less than it was worth. Mills and his wife, Sonja, owned 90 percent of the communications company.

It all started in 1997 when Mills began talks with American Tower L.P. to sell OPM-USA, which he ultimately sold for $105 million. But he bought out Mortellite for just $1.5 million, according to court documents, without telling him about American Tower’s offer or disclosing OPM’s full value. Mills even told Mortellite to extend a vacation for several weeks to keep him from finding out about the negotiations with American Tower.

When Mortellite returned from vacation, Mills fired him. Later, at an Aug. 1997 board meeting, Mortellite agreed to leave the company and take the buyout based on an incorrect assumption about the company’s value, according to court documents. Mills didn’t tell Mortellite about American Tower’s offer, even when Mortellite’s attorney asked at the board meeting whether OPM was involved in any pending transactions.

Mortellite filed suit in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit, where a trial court judge ruled that Mills fraudulently induced Mortellite to sign away his shares of OPM.

An expose like this is oftentimes devastating to a major political candidate. During times like these when corruption can mean the end of a political career, Mills’ attempt to storm the 9th floor with the theme of not being a politician has fallen flat on its face.

Don’t be surprised to Mills’ campaign fumble and pull out of the game we call Arizona politics.


  1. I’ll bet that Mills is arrogant enough for this not to faze him. I bet Camilla will urge him to stay in the race and he’ll count on saturating the airwaves and voter ignorance to make this nothing more than a bump in the road. He won’t drop out. He thinks he can buy the governor’s office like he bought out his partner: by hoodwinking them.

  2. Considering the fact that the AP already picked it up and ran with… The fact that it was flashed in my Yahoo news… He’s an idiot if he thinks voters in AZ won’t ALL know if they don’t already.

    Dear Buz Mills,
    You should probably just go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under. You’re done.


  3. The problem here is that the business partner and the court both determined the value of the company to be 15M and the 1.5M is 10% which was the partners share of the company.

    Something else that has failed to be mentioned is that after the appellate ruling Mr. Mills did pay the difference to equal the full 10% which was an additional 9M.

    Which looking at the appellate documents was the right thing to do.

  4. Wow. A rich guy comes by part of his wealth through unscrupulous means. What a shocker.

    The fact that he was caught shows either a lack of intelligence or a massive arrogance. Either way it’s time this was uncovered.

    If he does decide not to run he can at least sleep well at night knowing the AZ GOP will continue to work hard to cut his taxes and shift the burden to the middle class and working poor.

  5. AZDryheat says

    He was ordered by the court to pay the 9M, the whole reason it went to trial was because Mills refused to do the right thing. He sold the company behind his partners back for over $100M, so how could you argue that the business partner thought it was only worth 15?

    The bottom line is that Mills committed fraud- court’s word not mine – to get millions he didn’t deserve off his partner. Look I kinda liked him too before this all came out, but we need to stop defending guys like this. They do far more harm than good to the GOP.

  6. Uh Oh….it looks like you have to have substance and a plan..not just money and nice commercials. Vote for a real candidate..John Munger.

  7. grasshopper says

    LOL. Munger who? oh…the John CFR McCain backer who wants to throw the border gates wide open under the disguise of a water desalinization plant in Mexico.

    Which came first John? The need for a lot more cross-border traffic or the need for a desalinization plant?

    Six Figure Salaries for Teachers. There’s a winning Republican plank for ya. Former State GOP Chairman Munger was McStain’s best friend during his rise to (democrat) power. We don’t need another John McMunger.

  8. Illegal is illegal says

    Mungers only solution requires breaking the law or doing something completely impossible.

    Come up with an actual plan- THEN thump your chest.

  9. VoiceInTheWild says

    This only shows that Buz Mills has guts in business and will have the guts to make tough decisions on the 9th floor.

    Still my guy.

  10. Veronica L. says

    This only shows Buz Mills DOES shirk his fiduciary duties. The same duties he would owe the citizens of Arizona. Expect Mills to keep one eye wide open for personal gain while he is charged with representing us.

    Mills willingly ripped off Mr. & Mrs. Mortellite, you feel special or something VoiceInTheWild?

  11. Heard he bailed his own campaign event today in fear of being questioned about this..LOL.

    He is TOAST.

  12. between buz and the kiddie diddler, i’ll take buz anytime.

  13. AZforme! says

    Only the corrupt are electable. Quit looking for an angel to run, its not gonna happen. We need someone that will lower taxes and continue to push forward on the boarder issues. I would rather have a hard-nosed business man/women as governor that another “all talk no walk” carrier politician. Someone that has the guts to handle unpopular issues. If this issue is the worst thing that can be thrown at him, Im ok with giving him a shot at fixing some of Arizona’s problems.

Leave a Reply