Mon, June 24

YCSO deputy fired after review of conduct in Iron Brotherhood bar fight investigation

Yavapai County Sheriff's Dept. Deputy Mark Boan was fired Friday in connection with his conduct during investigations of a fight between a bar patron and Iron Brotherhood members on Dec. 22, 2012, at Montezuma's Bar in Prescott.

YCSO Sheriff Scott Mascher noted in a news release Friday that the YCSO personnel review board also recommended the termination of Capt. Marc Schmidt and Sgt. Bill Suttle for their conduct in the incident. Both Schmidt and Suttle resigned to apply for retirement on March 11.

"I have thoroughly reviewed the reports submitted by Coconino County Sheriff's officials regarding the Whiskey Row incident that occurred in Prescott on Dec. 22, 2012," Mascher said. "I want to assure the public we serve that the dedicated men and women of this office hold themselves to a higher standard."

Coconino County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Rex Gilliland wrote in his administrative investigation of YCSO personnel's involvement in the incident that while there was no evidence that Boan had been involved in the fight or had violated Arizona law, Boan had information directly from two Iron Brotherhood members involved in the altercation and did not provide that information to Arizona Department of Public Safety investigators when asked.

"In fact, Boan was made a witness when (former Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill) Fessler and (Phoenix Police Officer Eric) Amato told him what occurred that night," Gilliland wrote. "Fessler said that Amato punched the other party. Amato did not admit to the punch, but said the other party swung at him and he pushed this person and took him across the bar."

The YCSO personnel review board met Tuesday, May 7, to review the Coconino County Sheriff's Office administrative investigation that Mascher requested into YCSO personnel's actions during the incident, the initial investigation by Prescott Police, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety's criminal investigation into the incident.

According to the YCSO personnel review board report, "Deputy Boan's actions or lack thereof, commencing over the months before and following the incident, demonstrated his judgment as a veteran officer (14 years of service) has diminished with regard to the understanding of his oath as a certified peace officer and loyalty to the Sheriff's Office (prior knowledge of an assault by a club member in previous months before the night of this incident and continued support of such club and actions before and after the Moctezuma's incident)."

Boan has indicated he intends to appeal the action, YCSO Spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

"As your sheriff, I want to apologize to our community for any trust we may have lost as a result of this event," Mascher said. "I know the badge has been tarnished, and we will work relentlessly to regain the community's full trust and confidence."

The DPS investigation recommended several felony charges be filed against several Iron Brotherhood members, and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Justin Stafford, who was injured in the bar fight.

DPS had recommended felony charges against Suttle including obstructing criminal investigation/prosecution and false reporting to law enforcement agencies.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has not yet made a recommendation on filing criminal charges in the incident.