(A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests (financial, emotional, or otherwise), one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation of the individual or organization.)
Today, Governor Doug Ducey announced that Arizona Department of Corrections, Charles L. Ryan, shall lead a complete investigation of the Kingman riot which occurred during the week of July 1st through July 4th, 2015.
This is a situation that should be addressed by the Legislature as the main stakeholders in the preservation of public safety and financial responsibilities for the funding of private prison monies and all related allocated expenses.
Charles Ryan, an appointed public official is not the most appropriate individual to oversee such an investigation. His judgement, impartiality and personal or professional interest could be influenced by the mere fact that he is also the main person at the Department of Corrections who makes executive decisions on inmate bed allocations distributed between the various private contractors with the agency and other internal policy decisions including contract monitoring of various facilities.
This puts him in a potential and possible position to undermine the investigation based on findings which may be negative or damaging to these private prison groups as well as his own agency for any or all management decisions created or made verbally or through policy he makes to distribute, manage, oversee, and direct compliance conditions of all these contracts.
When a government official, who is involved in the procurement, distribution, allocation or any other major decision is put in a position of trust and the position is used to determine faulty findings, these findings can be influenced, degraded or devaluated by his executive position to contain such findings and dismiss them or lower them to a lesser finding at will.
This defeats the entire discovery and information gathering process of any investigation especially this one where the performance, compliance and management skills of MTC is in question as well as his own agency’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all contractual services and agreements.
I appeal to you, our members of the Legislature, to call for another lead designated investigator or person for this investigation of the MTC Kingman riots. A good example of choosing an independent individual would be command position at the Attorney General’s or the director of our Department of Public Safety administration.