Political Fireworks at End of Hearing on Veterans Home

February 12, 2009

By Associated Press

Political fireworks erupted regarding a gubernatorial aide’s past at the end of a special legislative hearing today on conditions at the state nursing home for military veterans.

Republican Senator Jack Harper of Surprise was questioning one of Governor Napolitano’s two co-chiefs of staff, Alan Stephens, when Harper asked whether Stephens had previously worked for Napolitano or she for him.

Stephens said Napolitano was his lawyer during the AzScam political corruption scandal in the early 1990s.

Stephens was not charged criminally in AzScam though he was named in a civil racketeering lawsuit before a judge dismissed him from the suit.

Stephens told Harper that he’d been cleared, but Harper then said the Stephens-Napolitano connection on AzScam was a shocking revelation.

The senator then gaveled the meeting to an end over the objections of Democratic legislators who said Stephens was entitled to respond more fully.