County At­tor­ney Mont­gomery seeks Supreme Court rul­ing on wire­taps

The Arizona Republic - - PUBLIC SAFETY - DEN­NIS WAG­NER

Mari­copa County At­tor­ney Bill Mont­gomery says he will ask the na­tion’s high­est court to over­turn an ap­pel­late de­ci­sion that his prose­cu­tors ob­tained wire­taps in vi­o­la­tion of fed­eral law.

“We will seek re­view by the United States Supreme Court,” Mont­gomery said in a news re­lease. “The 9th Cir­cuit (Court of Ap­peals) had an op­por­tu­nity to ac­cu­rately deal with the facts and the law in this case, and failed to do so.”

In Au­gust, the 9th Cir­cuit ruled that the County At­tor­ney’s Of­fice im­prop­erly se­cured elec­tronic sur­veil­lance war­rants be­cause Mont­gomery did not per­son­ally re­view af­fi­davits sub­mit­ted by law en­force­ment with the ap­pli­ca­tions. The rul­ing stemmed from a civil suit filed by a woman whose phone con­ver­sa­tions were bugged even though she was not a tar­get of in­ves­ti­ga­tors and did not get charged with a crime.

The 9th Cir­cuit agreed with a Mari­copa County Su­pe­rior Court find­ing that, un­der the Om­nibus Crime Con­trol and Safe Streets Act, Mont­gomery may not del­e­gate his re­spon­si­bil­ity to ap­prove wire­tap war­rants.

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