Candidate Seeks Return To Criminal Justice Field

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Editor's note: This is the second in a series of profiles of the three candidates seeking election for Payson Regional Justice of the Peace -- Dorothy Little, Dan Hill and Barry Standifird. The primary election will be held in September.

Most Rim Country residents who know Dan Hill, know him as co-owner of Legacy Home Furnishings.

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Dan Hill

What people may not know is that he went into the furniture business to pay his way through college, where he studied criminal justice with the intention of becoming an attorney.

"By the time I graduated, we had two children and going to school for another three years wasn't practical," Hill said.

So now, almost 20 years after earning a degree in criminal justice, Hill is pursuing a career more closely in tune with his training. He is seeking election as the Payson Regional Justice of the Peace.

Though originally from Michigan, his family has made its home in Arizona since he was an infant. Hill grew up in Mesa, attended Mesa High School, graduating in 1979, then attended Arizona State University, earning his criminal justice degree in 1987.

"While I was in college I had two internships with Maricopa Superior Court," Hill said. He worked in pretrial services, interviewing suspects for bail rulings and in the juvenile public defender's investigators office.

"I have seen how the justice system works," Hill said.

He and his wife, Rose, and their family of eight children (and a foreign exchange student for the past two years) have made Payson their home since May 1999. They moved here from Alaska, where they lived for seven years.

Outside of his business, Hill has worked as campaign manager for newly elected Town Councilor Su Connell, is president of the Payson Rotary Club and has served the group in numerous capacities since joining it shortly after moving here. He is on the board of directors for the Payson Choral Society, has been a Boy Scout leader for most of the time he has been in the Rim Country and is the youth adviser for the Payson High School Interact Club (Rotary for high school students). He also served on the Gila County Personnel Commission for about 18 months. When he announced his candidacy for Payson Justice of the Peace, he had to resign from the commission. He was Payson Man of the Year in 2003 and Rotarian of the Year in 2004.

Running for justice of the peace is an extension of his ongoing community service, but it is also a way of coming full circle.

"I'm running to get back on track from where I started (in criminal justice)," Hill said. "It interests and excites me." He said he has been visiting with justices of the peace around the state and has learned from them that a person can really make a difference in the lives of others.

"I have two very worthy opponents," Hill said. "But my creativity and energy separate me. I will try to find fun and interesting ways of doing things. I think there are a lot of creative things that can be done with community service. I want to arrange programs of work in a meaningful way for both the people (in the court system) and the community."

For more information about Hill, visit www.electdanhill.com, e-mail danhill@cybertrails.com or call (928) 472-9733.

-- To reach Teresa McQuerrey call 474-5251 ext. 113 or e-mail tmcquerrey@payson.com.

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