Campaign finance complaint filed on Stanton’s city council cash

By: Lynh Bui
The Arizona Republic

A complaint has been filed with the Phoenix city attorney and Arizona Attorney General’s Office over money from the campaign account mayoral candidate Greg Stanton used to run for City Council.

His treasurer, Mindy Shields, received one-year probation for stealing more than $70,000 from the account, which she paid back through a loan from her mother and father, lobbyist Billy Shields.

Stanton, a former councilman, rolled the money from the City Council account to help fund his bid for mayor against Wes Gullett.

Real-estate attorney Robert Pizorno’s complaint said the money should have been reported as a loss on campaign finance reports and detailed terms of the loan to determine “if this loan is an actual arms-length transaction” and “not an attempt to influence the Mayor’s race … by an influential lobbyist,” he wrote.

The Phoenix City Clerk and Law departments reviewed the matter and found no problem with the Stanton mayoral campaign using the money. Pizorno wanted more details on money Stanton accepted to pay attorney fees and the cost of hiring a CPA. That money is not part of any campaign accounts.

“Voters will see this for what it is, an act of pure desperation by a candidate, who recent polls show he’s losing by double digits,” Stanton spokesman Robbie Sherwood said.

Gullett spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said the complaint isn’t theirs: “It’s about time someone takes a look at this.”

–Lynh Bui,

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