Tag Archives: state of arizona

West 101 Corporate Center, CBRE, WEB

CBRE leases 67KSF to Arizona’s newly created CSFS agency

CBRE has completed two office leases totaling 67,335 square feet in Metropolitan Phoenix. The leases are representative of new office requirements by Arizona for the newly created Child Safety and Family Services agency (CSFS).

A 26,265-square-foot, full-floor space in West 101 Corporate Center, which is owned by Los Angeles, Calif.-based Regent Properties and located at 1860 N. 95th Lane in Phoenix, will service CSFS’s West Valley clients. The second location is a 41,070-square-foot office building at the Corridors business park, formerly owned by Chicago, Ill.-based The Alter Group and recently purchased by Los Angeles-based Adler Realty Group. Located at 1925 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd. in Phoenix, this location will service North Phoenix.

Jim Bayless, Ashley Brooks and Jenny Aust with CBRE’s Phoenix office negotiated the long-term lease transactions on behalf of Regent Properties and The Alter Group. The State of Arizona was represented by Chris Corney with JLL’s Phoenix office.

1860 N. 95th Lane is a three-story, class A office building located within the West 101 Corporate Center master-planned business park. The property benefits from proximity to more than 1 million square feet of retail amenities, including Gateway Pavilions and Gateway Crossing. The building also has immedate access to the I-10 and Loop 101 freeways. The tenant, whose lease agreement brings the property to 72 percent leased, will take occupancy in early November.

An 80-acre business park, Corridors currently features single-story buildings as well as land for expansion and build-to-suit opportunities. Located near the southeast corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and the I-17 freeway, the park benefits from proximity to more than 1.7 million square feet of retail amenities. Current tenants include Chubb Insurance, Arizona State Credit Union, Syntellect, Bechtel, Belcan Engineering, Kutta Technologies and Performance Software. The Child Safety and Family Services lease, whose operations will take occupancy of in early December, brings the business park to 88 percent leased.

Fiesta Bowl, Junker Terminated

Investigation Leads to Termination of Fiesta Bowl President and CEO John Junker

The Fiesta Bowl today released the findings of a far-reaching and comprehensive investigation by an independent Special Committee of the Board of Directors that has led to the immediate termination of president and CEO John Junker.

The investigation examined issues related to the reimbursement of campaign contributions; a previous investigation conducted by former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods; excessive executive compensation; and inappropriate expenditures and gifts.

The Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors formed the independent Special Committee to investigate allegations of wrongdoing after an employee came forward to provide information about some of the alleged misconduct. The Special Committee, which was composed of retired Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor and Fiesta Bowl Directors Jim Bruner and Steve Whiteman, conducted a wide-ranging, five-month investigation.

The investigation included the review of more than 55 gigabytes of electronic data and of tens of thousands of pages of documents, and interviews with more than 50 individuals. Two former FBI agents and a retired Maricopa County Deputy Criminal Chief assisted the Special Committee with its interviews and fact-finding mission.

The Special Committee uncovered many facts, including:

  • An apparent scheme to reimburse at least $46,539 in improper campaign contributions.
  • A flawed initial investigation and an apparent conspiracy to conceal the reimbursement scheme from the Board of Directors and state officials.
  • Unauthorized and excessive compensation, non-business and inappropriate expenditures (including a $1,200 bill at a Valley strip club) and inappropriate gifts.

After reviewing the results of the Special Committee’s investigation, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to fire Junker for his role in the improper and inappropriate activities documented in the final report. Junker was placed on administrative leave on Feb. 14 after failing to comply with two written directives by the Fiesta Bowl to cooperate with the Special Committee’s investigation.

“We are extremely disappointed and angered by the findings of the Special Committee’s investigation,” said Duane Woods, chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “While the Special Committee Final Report speaks for itself, I must say that the actions undertaken and orchestrated by John Junker and others are shocking and completely unacceptable.

“Their actions, unfortunately, have tainted the stellar reputation that the Fiesta Bowl has worked so hard to maintain for more than 40 years. The Fiesta Bowl, however, is greater than a few individuals; it is the product of thousands of dedicated volunteers and exemplary employees who work tirelessly and care so deeply about the Fiesta Bowl and all it does for the state of Arizona.”

Special Committee member and former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor praised the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors for establishing and empowering the Special Committee.

“It took great courage for the Board to take the necessary steps to get to the bottom of these allegations and review its business practices,” McGregor said. “The Special Committee was instructed to complete a full investigation and follow the facts wherever they led. With the assistance of our independent legal counsel and other experts, we worked very hard in our fact-finding mission to determine exactly what transpired.

“We are confident that our report is thorough and accurate. Although the findings are deeply disturbing, I am gratified that the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors is moving forward with affirmative and concrete steps to address its problems.”

Woods added, “The Fiesta Bowl is legally bound and highly motivated to recover money that was misappropriated and will be examining all of our options to do so. I want to thank Justice McGregor and our Special Committee for their thorough investigation. The Fiesta Bowl will continue its full cooperation with the Arizona Attorney General’s investigation.”

american flag, protest

Legal Arizona Workers Act Does Not Cause Expected Upheaval

In 2007, the state of Arizona made its first foray into “immigration reform” when it passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act. However, before the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) even became effective on Jan. 1, 2008, the Legislature went to work on amending the statute, presumably to “cure” some of the more controversial aspects of the law.

While the fundamental purpose and structure of LAWA has not changed, employers need to be aware of the current version of the law in order to limit the chances of being on the receiving end of an enforcement action. For example, the same legislation that tweaked LAWA also criminalized the act of knowingly accepting identity information from someone who is not actually the person represented in that identity information. Nevertheless, recent trends reported by a researcher from the University of Arizona suggest the enforcement tsunami that was expected to hit the business community is, up to now, little more than a ripple in a pond.

LAWA prohibits employers from “knowingly” or “intentionally” employing any unauthorized alien workers after 2007, and creates stiff penalties for employers who do. Penalties for first violations include mandatory probation for, and possible temporary suspension of, all business licenses issued by the state of Arizona. For a second violation during the probationary period, whether knowing or intentional, employers face permanent revocation of their state-issued licenses — thus effectively preventing the employer from doing business in Arizona. LAWA also requires every Arizona employer to verify new hire work eligibility through the federal government’s E-Verify system. However, LAWA created no “penalty” for failure to use E-Verify. So an employer who becomes the target of an enforcement action will likely be presumed to have “knowingly” hired an undocumented worker if that employer failed to use E-Verify. Evidently, most employers have decided either to roll the dice or they simply don’t recognize a risk. According to Department of Homeland Security data, as of late August 2008, only 5.6 percent of Arizona employers have enrolled in E-Verify.

Non-participation in E-Verify is not an option for contractors and subcontractors of any Arizona governmental entity. The LAWA amendments passed last year require those employers to participate in E-Verify as a condition of their government contract. In fact, any Arizona governmental entity (state or any political subdivision) would be prohibited from awarding a contract if the contractor or subcontractor does not comply with federal immigration laws and E-Verify requirements. LAWA requires government entities to ensure that their contractors comply with those requirements, and to include the following terms in their contracts:

  • Each contractor or subcontractor must warrant their compliance with LAWA’s provisions.
  • A breach of that warranty is to be deemed a material breach of the contract, subject to penalties up to, and including, termination of the contract.
  • The government entity retains the legal right to inspect the papers of the contractor and subcontractor employees who work on the contract in order to ensure compliance with the warranty.

Also, employers seeking to obtain an economic development incentive from a government entity must first register for and participate in E-Verify, and show proof of doing so. LAWA further requires the Attorney General’s office to, on a quarterly basis, request a list of Arizona employers registered with E-Verify from the Department of Homeland Security. The Attorney General must make that list available to the public on its Web site.

So far, enforcement actions against employers have been anemic at best. Judith Gans, manager of the Immigration Policy Program at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, prepared a study on the preliminary impact of LAWA on immigration trends and businesses in Arizona. She found that not a single superior court enforcement action was filed during the first year of LAWA’s existence. The number of complaints filed with each county attorney during that period was one or none in nine out of Arizona’s 15 counties. The Pima County attorney reported only five complaints, four of which were declined because they involved individuals hired before 2008. The Maricopa County attorney’s office stated that it does not keep track of the number of reported complaints, and those that are filed reportedly are turned over to the county sheriff for investigation. Notwithstanding a number of high profile “raids” conducted by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2008, as reported in the local media at the time, no complaints have resulted in a LAWA enforcement action to date.

Finally, LAWA’s potentially adverse impact on Arizona’s economy has been negligible, or is simply undetectable. According to Gans’ study, the current recession has had a disproportionately adverse impact on business sectors that rely heavily on immigrant labor, such as construction. Therefore, because employment of all workers in those sectors, including immigrant labor, has been hard hit as a result of the current economic meltdown, any “LAWA-effect” has been masked.