Whats the “Buz” all about in Arizona?

If you live in Arizona, you most likely have seen the political TV advertisements from “Buz Mills”, a multi-millionaire, who is running for Governor. He also placed ads on the jumbo-tron at the Tempe Tea Party on April 15th in an effort to show support for the Tea Party movement. Nonetheless, he has manifested out of nowhere and decided to run for public office. In todays political environment, many people like the idea of a “regular Joe” running for office. The release of Mr. Mills’ campaign report was the first time that anyone had really heard of him and the fact that he announced he was bringing $2.1 million to the table for his campaign threw many folks back wondering if he could be a real contender for Governor. What we publicly know of him is that he is a member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, and he is the owner of a company called Gunsite (which operates a 2,000 acre weapons training site). As with any newcomer into the political arena we should always try to do our research and see who we are really dealing with. We need the truth about every candidate to surface so that we can make the right decision come voting time. In this case, John McCain is right…character does matter.

On the surface all seems very well with “Buz”. He appears to be a conservative thinker, 2nd amendment right supporter and a very successful businessman. Digging deeper in his past is where things get fuzzy with “Buz”. In the media ads that his campaign runs on TV, “Buz” says we’re not going to get the truth from politicians, but were sure going to hear the truth from him. The truth is that according to several Florida court documents and other sources, “Buz”, aka Owen P. Mills, which is his actual name; was found in breach of contract and acted in bad faith during a multimillion dollar business deal in Sarasota, FL. Coincidentally this was right about the time he decided to relocate to a town in the middle of nowhere in Arizona.

Below is a snippet from a 2002 court case appeal document that details the entire set of allegations and the court findings (Click here to view the entire document)
“The trial court determined that Mr. Mortellite’s chapter 517 securities fraud claim could not stand because his interest in OPM did not constitute a security as that term is defined by chapter 517 and prevailing case law. The trial court also determined that there was no evidence or legal basis for any of Mr. Mortellite’s claims against Mrs. Mills or OPM. The trial court did find, however, that: Mills, as the majority shareholder of OPM, did owe a fiduciary duty to Mortellite, the minority shareholder, which required Mills to act in good faith. Mills breached this duty and acted in bad faith toward Mortellite when he received the offer from American Tower and intentionally did not disclose the offer to Mortellite. In sending Mortellite off for additional vacations, Mills intended to keep Mortellite out of the office and away from any information about pending negotiations. By sending Mortellite off and by not disclosing anything about the American Tower offer, Mills deceived Mortellite into thinking that there were no pending negotiations to purchase the OPM stock and with the further intention that Mortellite would act to his detriment. Mills knew or should have known that Mortellite would act upon the non-disclosure, and he did, foregoing the provisions of the [General Share Purchase] Agreement to value the stock, accepting Mills’ offer of $1.5 million, and entering into the [r]elease and the [stock redemption agreement]. Mortellite was, therefore, fraudulently induced to sign the [r]elease and the [stock redemption agreement].”
He may have a lot of money, but these court documents elude to some possible shady behaviors. Sounds like an old school politician already. So if the allegations were in fact true and he is willing to breach a contract with a friend over money and deceive someone he knows and works with; what would you expect him to do as Governor of Arizona? Would you trust him with the State of Arizona? Take the poll here and decide for yourself who has your vote in this race.

Disclaimer: We are not endorsing ANY candidate for Arizona Governor.

*************************************Update 4/25/10*************************************

Further research was done and new documents have been found concerning the actual courts final decision, presented by 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Paul E. Logan. Please see the text from the Final Judgement of the Court below (See PDF file of the OMP_Appeal_Decision here). You will see that the allegations presented in the above posting are in fact valid as the court ruled that the defendant, “Buz” Mills pay compensatory damages to the plaintiff. Compensatory damages or actual damages are paid to the plaintiff to compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered by another parties breach of duty or contract. This obviously wouldn’t have been done if he was found to be ‘not guilt of breach of duty’, etc.


1. The Findings and Conclusions of the Final Judgment of January 31[ 2001 are incorporated, except as they conflict with the findings and conclusions below.

2. Mortellite and Mills were both negotiating with other companies relating to the sale or acquisition of OPM, Mortellite negotiated with Pinnacle Towersr a competitor of OPMr to secure financing from Pinnacle to purchase OPf.’1′.s stock. Pinnacle approved financing for Mortellite of between $15 million and $20 million based upon Pinnacle’s evaluation that OPM was worth between $28,470,000 and $32,220,000. Mills eventually sold OPM for $105 million to American Tower, which price ultimately was recalculated after the payment of debt to a net of $60,574,993.62. Both before and after the agreement with American Tower, Mills received loans from American Tower of $37 million with no repayment obligation.

3. On January 8, 1998 American Tower paid Mills $8.47 million based upon a valuation of OPM as of December 31, 1997 of $21,305,310, five months after the valuation date in the Agreement of the parties here, less debt and other deductions of $12,828,310. With this payment and loans of $37 million which Mills had no obligation to repay, M ills received $45.47 m illion from American Tower.

4. Both Mortellite and Mills presented experts: Pecaro and Reilly, respectively. There is a vast difference in their qualifications and experience. Both experts used similar methodology and sources to do their evaluations of OPM. Pecaro’s opinion was $91,375,794.31. Reilly’s opinion was between $16.1 million and $19.9 million. Thus, the range of the experts, from approxi­ mately $16 million to $91.4 million covers all of the other evidence: the parties’ agreed value of $15 million; the parties’ negotiations with third parties; and the amounts actually paid to Mills. 5. The value of OPM stock as of July 31, 1997 was $45,470,000. 6. Mills should have paid $4,547,000 for Mortellite’s 10% interest, and, less the $1.5 million already paid, there is a balance due to Mortellite of $3,047,000, with pre-judgment interest from August 31, 1997 of $1,631,973.20.


7. Plaintiff, John G. Mortellite, shall recover from Defendant, Owen P. Mills, the sum of $4,678,973.20, with taxable costs, and statutory interest from the date of this judgment, all for which let execution issue. 8. Jurisdiction is reserved to tax costs and to determine punitive damages.

DONE on January 23, 2003, nunc pro tunc January 14, 2003.



  1. Yeah right. says

    Disclaimer: We are not endorsing ANY candidate for Arizona Governor.

    Is that because Sheriff Joe has not yet declared?

  2. It's over Johnny says

    They say there’s a few ways to make your millions. Hope his business partner had some lube.

    We assume most of our politicians are crooks. I don’t need to have a governor that has the court documents to prove it.

    How much of that $2 million is unspent? It might be time for the first candidate to drop out.

  3. He kept sending him off on vacations?

    …and the guy went on them. WHat a job. On holiday all the time and never think anything odd about it.

  4. Undecided says

    Thanks for the info, I’ve been trying to get some more background on Buz.

    Paulden may seem like the middle of nowhere to most, but that whole area up there has a strong gun/shooting industry (Ruger is not too far down the road in Prescott). Also, from what I understand, Buz purchased Gunsite somewhere around the year 2000, so it makes sense that he would set up shop there about the same time.

  5. Walt & Judy says

    We knew Buz Mills was a fraud when he declared “we don’t have in immigration problem, we have a crime at the border problem.” In other words, illegal aliens taking jobs from Americans is “no problem.”

    Some in the Tea Party movement wanted to embrace Mills for the sole reason that he never served in elective office before.

    Mills’ fraud case just goes to show, the newcomers need vetted every bit as much as veteran public servants.

    Buz Mills found by a court to be a fraud. Will he hang around too long and make a donkey out of himself? He’s half-way there already!

    Why did Buz Mills buy a ranch just down the road a piece from Cindy McCain’s ranch?

  6. Funny how the slogan on his logo says, “Not a politician”. It should be followed up with, “… But just as slimy as one.”

    What a schmuck.

  7. Yeah right. says

    Obviously Walt and Judy never managed to get outta Phoenix much, as Paulden is quite the distance away from Oak Creek by road.

    But hey, here in fantasy land it is just right next door.

    As for Buz, well the Fife fiasco was quite enough for one lifetime of “successful” businessmen.

    As far as I am concerned, we might as well just pick somebody else.

    Another dumb idea brought to you by folks without a brain.

    Of course, he is on the Board of the NRA- so he must be blessed!


    Just another carpetbagger with a bag o loot he is wasting to try and impress us.

    Not impressed.


  8. Where’s Joe?

  9. Double Decaf Latte says

    I have to agree with Yeah right…why would someone w/ no interest in supporting “ANY candidate for Arizona Governor” would go to this much trouble to slime someone. I have to think Keith Sipmann is doing this to help someone….I too am guessing Joe…but it could be the State Treasurer who seems to be going nowhere with the voters.

  10. AZDryheat says

    “In light of Mr. Mills’ fraud and breach of fiduciary duty…”

    Wow. Well thanks for stopping by Buz. You ran a good campaign for a month

  11. @ “Double Decaf Latte”: I don’t think it has anything to do with helping anyone out… So much as being disgusted and sick of filthy, lying, scumbags getting into the AZ Governor’s seat more than once. Arizonans are sick of all that mess and corruption!

    Consider this the mulligan… And the best part is he already went to court and we found out before we voted for him and have the ability to start over before the primary.

    @ “It’s over Johnny”: And yes… I think it’s time someone up and leave the Gov’s race… If not AZ in general.

  12. And all along I thought Buz was about “truth, not politics.” Gosh darn … his ideas on cutting taxes and spending were so specific and revolutionary. Without Buz, this race will lack intellectual firepower…..

  13. Read the thing- this is just one of the lines that will do him in.

    “Mr. Mills responded, “Don’t worry. He has no idea what this is worth.”

    “Mr. Mills managed to keep an additional $9 million of profit out of Mr. Mortellite’s pocket.”-OUCH. I’m sure his partner is glad to see him spend $2 MIllion of that trying to get a $90,000 a year job.

  14. “…Mortellite was, therefore, fraudulently induced to sign the [r]elease and the [stock redemption agreement]…”

    We were almost fraudulently induced to vote for a crooked carpetbagger.

    Mills’ favorite founding father? Nixon.

  15. “these court documents elude to some possible shady behaviors. Sounds like an old school politician already. So if the allegations were in fact true”

    Disclaimer: I don’t know this guy from Adam and haven’t seen a single ad.

    But it’s been interesting observing how our ad hoc judges and impromptu jury pool have reached a verdict of GUILTY on … “IF” and “POSSIBLE” on “ALLEGATIONS.”

  16. They aren’t allegations. The link takes you to a legal document describing court proceedings. The quotes above are from judges.

    No impromptu jury pool needed as this has already been fleshed out in a court.

  17. I can hear it now. Get out the wagging finger…”I did not have fraudulent relations with that partner, not even once…”

  18. Pretty Peeved says

    Like we always say, you gotta have your day in court. From what I was able to understand when all was said and done this guy and his biz partner finally agreed to settle.

    Uh, if this Buz really was going to rip someone off and then crawl off into obscurity, why would he run for governor?

    Besides, there are too many posts in this thread that share a common theme…all are putting words in Buz’s mouth. Who would do that?

    Oh, I don’t want to create some kind of victim here and not to get technical but it looks like the appeal quoted above is actually quoting the trial court. Then they overturned and remanded back to the trial court. That means the trial court’s conclusion, and its statement attributing a nasty motive to Mill’s action, did not stand up to legal scrutiny. Sometimes you gotta read between the lines.

  19. Peeved,
    There goes another $2 million just in disclaimer lines.

    I don’t think 1.2 million voters are going to take that kind of time to read between the lines looking for a way to find Mills innocent of fraud.

    Is that the kind of Gov. he would make? Will settle with accusers just to move on? No Thank You!

  20. I quoted the writer of the article who conveyed “if” and “possible,” which means that even the writer did not find “actual.”

    I don’t know ANYTHING about this guy, and frankly no one else does either, but he’s TOAST on allegations no one here would find fair in any measure if they were being held against them.

  21. Peeved, Im no lawyer but this document clearly states that it was remanded back to trial court for damages against Mills. I would love to know how much this Mortellite guy got out of Mills for his “fraud”. Bet it was a healthy sum.

  22. wanumba these aren’t allegations. Look at the basic facts. Mills and his neighbor owned a company. Mills sent his neighbor packing on vacations so he could negotiate a deal. Mills secretly sold THIER company and didn’t pay the neighbor what his share was worth. Those are facts
    Backed up by a judge.
    Settled on by Mills himself.

  23. Buz Mills: he’s not a career politician, but he sure acts like one!

  24. FINDING:

    Owen “Buz” Mills is a loser and should just “BUZ OFF”!

    Seriously… Just make that POS get off my TV already. Between him and McAmnesty, blood is gonna start shooting out of my eyes soon.

  25. Michelle J says

    Noah, We are tired of you and the Buz Mills camp besmirching the profession of politician. First, you don’t stay in (or get into) politics with a fraud conviction on your record.

    Secondly, Washington, Lincoln, Adams, etc., thank God these men were politicians. Mills ought to quit smearing the profession he is spending millions in his vain effort to join.

    I never heard Mills explain why he is spending millions to buy a job which pays less than $100k.

    The truth is bigger than Mills’ millions. He has been found by a court to be guilty of fraud. He is unelectable.

  26. Michelle J, lighten up. I am merely making a comment about Mills’ hypocrisy. He’s running a campaign based on truth, honesty and his status as an outsider. His behavior, however, is much like that of a longtime sleazy politician. Obviously not all politicians are corrupt. Sorry I wasn’t more specific.

  27. Buz killed off his candidacy when he stated his opposition to the employer sanctions law.

  28. Jamie Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 11:51 pm
    wanumba these aren’t allegations. Look at the basic facts. Mills and his neighbor owned a company. Mills sent his neighbor packing on vacations so he could negotiate a deal. Mills secretly sold THIER company and didn’t pay the neighbor what his share was worth. Those are facts
    Backed up by a judge.
    Settled on by Mills himself.

    What kind of minority partner do you have who thinks his job is to be off on vacations and not running the place? Mr. Magoo?

    Mortellite more to gain as the minority partner than Mills had. So, I’d like to know more before jumping to conclusions.

    It could be simply the article didn’t convey there was an actual settlement, just a possibility of wrong-doing. It’s fair enough to bring this to people’s attentions,for further investigation, but it’s not fair to imply more than occured.

  29. AZDryheat says

    It’s not an article, it’s a court document. And the court document is pretty clear: Mills defrauded his business partner out of millions. It’s not an allegation or accusation, it’s the finding of a court of law.

    The update that Sipmann added is just devastating. I’ve read through it twice now. I honestly can’t believe Mills thought no one would find out about this if he ran.

  30. Pretty Peeved says

    Now I’m confused by all you new people here. But I do always like to read stuff on SA from people I’ve never heard of. Not. Criminy this is just junk on a stick.

    I have a court document, no wait, it’s the US Constitution, saying a slave is 3/5th of a person. Hmm. Care to defend that document?

  31. grasshopper says

    Another “sterling” Gov. candidate, Steve Slaton, provided this response from Mills:

    “I sent a e-mail to Buz to explain, here’s their response: Hi Steve, Thanks for contacting us. Buz was involved in a disagreement 12 years ago with a former business partner, they disagreed and went to court, and after spending five years haggling with lawyers and court documents they sat down and worked out a settlement and everybody walked away satisfied. Just for the record, Buz is his real and legal name. Buz was his nickname from the time he was a baby and he made it official years ago.”

    Wow Buz, $4.8 million is a mighty hefty “disagreement.” Just think how much “Buz” could cost the state with his track record of expensive disagreements.

    Slaton’s writing ability comes in at about fifth grade level so, I’ll spare you from linking to it. It’s on Google.

    And then there were nine?

  32. I love it!

    “I tried to screw over my business partner, and he disagreed with it. By the way, don’t call me Owen.”

  33. hotflashholly says

    LOOKs like we have crook on our hands. Figured it was too good to be true that Bus was just a nice rancher….Bad buz…get out while you still have some dignity left…and find another hiding spot in the country.

  34. Where the post above says “DONE on January 23, 2003, nunc pro tunc January 14, 2003.” What actually happened is that the judgment from 2002 was vacated (reversed) and dismissed with prejudice (means for good reason).

    Did anybody read the documents occurring after the 2002 opinion? Rather than celebrating at half-time, you might want to wait until the final whistle. In the end, these guys were held responsible for their own attorneys fees and costs.

    Long story short – there are always disagreements in business. And sometimes they go to court – the documents only tell a part of the story. What can happen is one guy works hard to achieve success and the other guy bums a ride. Any guy that would say okay, I’ll take another couple of weeks off – probably wasn’t engaged in the business. He probably didn’t deserve more than his original $100K investment which earned an incredible 1,400% ROI over 21 months. My guess is Mr. Mortellite made out like a bandit with very little personal contribution.

    It’s a shame that the guy who works hard to make stuff happen gets branded the bad guy.

  35. @John…

    I’ve rarely… Nay… NEVER seen a judge use the terms “fraud” and “deceptive” to describe “the guy who works hard to make stuff happen”.

    Who says you can’t work hard and be honest, too? Such nonsense and back-pedaling.

    Be honest. It gets you places.

  36. arizona_kowgirl says

    What’s all the noise about? A President who was not born here? A Houdini act? What ekeletons do you have? Who has none? What politician or Gov has/had none? We’re talking about People here. Wanna take a turn to “serve”? See Houdini first!

  37. The courts in 2002 said he defrauded his former business partner.
    What worries me is that Mr. Mills doesn’t seem to let facts stand in his way when confronted with documentation. Like the cuts the state legislature has made during this recession. Also, he shows the governor raising taxes in his ad and the headline is that the voters of this state approved the increase. Now, as I recall, we live in a state where the voters do get to decide things, right or wrong. If they don’t then we don’t live in a free country and a minority group will rule.


  1. […] 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 […]

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