7/9/2008Arizona Official Confirms Redflex Falsified Speed Camera Documents
Arizona Secretary of State blasts Redflex notary for falsifying speed camera certification document.
Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer last week confirmed that documents used to convict motorists of speeding in Lafayette, Louisiana contained elements that had been falsified. Brewer revoked the license of Cheryl Krough, notary public for photo enforcement vendor Redflex after concluding that she violated four Arizona laws while purporting to certify a speed camera deployment form for use in official hearings.
"The notary executed a notarial certificate containing a false statement, providing the secretary grounds for a suspension or revocation," wrote Joann Cota, an assistant director with the secretary of state's office. "Therefore, the secretary of state has determined to revoke the notary's commission effective immediately."
At issue was the form used in an attempt to convict motorists Mark and Phil Abshire of speeding on October 10, 2007. Krough signed this document, certifying that van driver Scott Michael Bernard had sworn to the truth of the document's contents in her presence. The secretary of state's office saw no evidence that this ever took place.
"It cannot be determined whether the signer was in the notary's presence when the notary notarized the form," Cota wrote.
Krough, who worked in the Scottsdale, Arizona office for Redflex, was 1400 miles away from the Redflex employee who drove the van that day. The secretary of state's office expressed a certain amount of indignation that in response to an investigation of the matter by the Arizona Attorney General's office, Krough, "wrote a short response to the complaint on a post it note."
This scofflaw attitude at Redflex led to four legal violations, according to Cota. Krough was guilty of ignoring laws requiring the proper keeping of a journal, forbidding the notarization of a document containing blanks and, in general, "failing to faithfully discharge the duties or responsibilities of a notary public."
The Abshires had notified Brewer's office in January about the situation (details) and were thrilled to be vindicated. Krough likely had certified thousands of such forms throughout Lafayette and the rest of the country in violation of the law. The twins called on Lafayette council members to refund citations issued based on the questionable documentation.
"All fines collected by Redflex in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2007 and 2008 that were illegally notarized in Arizona should be voided," Mark Abshire said in an email yesterday. "Restitution by refunding fines to the affected individual citizens of Lafayette, Louisiana should be made immediately as it is unethical and unconscionable to collect fines by violating the laws of due process."
The Abshires were also vindicated in a January hearing where each was found not guilty after arguing the city had not followed the guidelines of its own speed camera ordinance (details).