Arizona's Politics has learned that a former member of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse ("CCP") has filed a complaint with the Corporation Commission, explaining how the CCP has violated its corporate responsibilities and should be dissolved.
The CCP is Arpaio's affiliate that has been investigating the birth certificate of President Barack Obama, and has convinced the Sheriff that fraud is involved. The CCP solicits private donations on its website to fund the three-year old investigation (and continuing investigation, according to CCP leader Mike Zullo). .
Brian Reilly - who petitioned Arpaio to begin the Obama birth certificate investigation - filed a complaint with the Corporation Commission today, requesting an administrative dissolution of the CCP.
He notes that the CCP had been using street addresses for its corporate address and its statutory agent's address, as required by Arizona Revised Statutes. Until, that is, when it began to conduct the birth certificate investigation. Then, it revised its corporate papers to apparently try to hide its members' addresses.
The CCP listed a Post Office box with the address of the Post Office as its corporate office and the (then-) Maricopa County Sheriff's Office address as statutory agent Mike Zullo's address. Both are ACC no-no's. (Although the CCP did not file a change of address form, the Corporation Commission noted the address changes from the annual report and changed them.)
Arizona law requires a corporation to have a "street address", even if it is a home address. The purpose of a statutory agent is to accept service of process for the corporation, which is why that person (or, company) is required to have a "street address".
Rebecca Wilder, Communications Director for the ACC, notes that they do receive complaints similar to Reilly's and the information is handled on a case-by-case basis. She declined to speculate on this instance.
However, a review of statutes would suggest that it would not be surprising for the CCP to receive an opportunity to file an amended annual report (or a change of address). If the written notice was ignored, the corporation would be administratively dissolved.
A dissolution could have further effects on the Cold Case Posse, which has received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.
The CCP has also used its affiliation with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to justify not filing annual reports with the IRS. The blog Obama Conspiracy Theories filed a complaint with the IRS about that exemption from filing the returns that other non-profit entities file.
The MCSO and Maricopa County treat the Posses as separate entities and do not review their finances. The Arizona Auditor General's Office told Arizona's Politics recently that it will look at this and other possible posse-related issues as part of its annual audit of Maricopa County's financial statements and controls.
Arizona's Politics has asked CCP for more information about their ACC filings, and will update this article as necessary.
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