Dps Completes Murphy Report


The Payson Police Department has received the special investigation report on the Rodeo weekend incident between Mayor Ken Murphy and Fire Marshal Jack Babb.

Police Chief Gordon Gartner said the report's section on findings simply said, "Forwarded to county attorney for findings."

Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said she has her copy of the report, but it will take time to get through it before any kind of decision can be made regarding charges.

Gartner said the document is about four inches thick.

"The county attorney will read and see where it fits with their written charging standards," he said.

Gartner did the initial investigation of the incident, then forwarded it to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Special Investigations Unit for review and further examination.

The August 2002 incident arose when the mayor allegedly confronted the fire marshal over his attempt to enforce the capacity restriction at the Ox Bow Saloon during rodeo weekend. The level of the alleged confrontation was such that the police chief felt there was a possibility that assault charges could be filed.

The request for DPS participation was made in late August or early September, the chief said.

The report was finally returned to the police department Tuesday, though Gartner did not see it until Wednesday since he was out sick.

He said because there are only seven people in the SIU, and they must investigate every police shooting, he tried to be understanding about the time it took.

While DPS talked to a great many more people than Gartner did, it did not make any recommendations on charging Murphy with anything, the chief said.

"That is not untypical," he said.

He said the report is typical of DPS.

"It looks pretty good, considering the level of felony (we were looking at). We will get it out to the media as soon as we can."

Murphy said he has not yet seen the report. He said he knew it is with the county attorney and nothing is really going on until she decides what she's going to do.

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