Loftus, Jeffries Sue State For Libel

Smiley faces could be found at DES offices across Arizona during the time Tim Jeffries served as DES director. [Photo from Facebook]

Former Arizona attorney general Tom Horne, and former assistant attorney General Chuck Johnson filed a lawsuit on behalf of former Department of Economic Security Director Timothy Jeffries and former DES Chief Law Enforcement against the State of Arizona for libel. The lawsuit addresses false statements contained in the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Firearms Program Audit of Arizona DES released on July 7, 2017.

Jeffries and Loftus do not specify damages in the lawsuit, But their pre- filing settlement demands against the state were $5.2 million and 2.1 million, respectively. The lawsuit alleges that the audit contained false information that caused “considerable damage” to their professional reputations and future employment opportunities.

The lawsuit reads in part:

• False Statements as to plaintiff Jeffries:

• The report stated that Jeffries carried a gun on state property. That was false.

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• The report stated the Jeffries wanted to arm every DES employee. That was false.

• The report stated the Jeffries wanted to create his own police force and control it. That was false.

• The report stated that Jeffries was involved in ammunition planning procurement and storage. That was false.

• The report stated that Jeffries regularly took ammunition from the DES inventory. That was false.

• The report stated that Jeffries went to a gun range on a weekly basis. That was false.

• The report stated the Jeffries would leave work early to go to a gun range. That was false.

• The report stated Jeffries openly proclaimed to be going to the shooting range to shoot DES inventory. That was false.

• False Statements as to plaintiff Loftus:

• The Report falsely states that the amount of ammunition purchased under his supervision was excessive.

• The Report falsely states that the ammunition was not secured.

• The Report falsely states that the records concerning access to and usage of the ammunition did not exist.

• The Report placed him in a false light by reporting that: “it was stated…Charlie Loftus utilized DES ammunition for personal use at a private shooting range…”

• The Report falsely states that 4,050 rounds of ammunition are “missing from the DES inventory.

• The Report placed him in a false light by reporting that ammunition was purchased from a non-authorized vendor.

• The Report falsely states that ammunition was purchased in violation of the Arizona Procurement Code.

• The Report falsely states that he purchased ammunition for personal use for which he was reimbursed by the State.

• The Report falsely states that he issued State firearms to unauthorized employees such as Tim Jeffries and Clark Collier.

• The Report falsely states that he purchased Beretta pistols for unauthorized employees.

• The Report falsely states that employees failed to adhere to and follow State policies.

• The Report falsely states that proper training records were not kept.

• The Report falsely states that no training outlines were kept.

• The Report falsely states that he went to a gun range weekly with Tim Jeffries.

• The Report falsely states that he told Luebkin that Tim Jeffries wanted to start his own police force.

• The Report falsely states that DES OIG and Security Services personnel did not receive adequate training.

• The Report falsely states that improvements were made after he was fired, which improvements were made by him before being fired.

• The Report falsely states that before he was fired the Security Services training program, firearms program and ammunition management program were rife with disorganization and inefficiency.

• The Report falsely states that training records and accounting of ammunition disbursements and ammunition security were absent and non-existent.

The lawsuit concludes: “As evidence of defendants’ malice, other libelous statements were made at or shortly after the time of the termination, which are not part of this cause of action, but which are evidence of malice by the relevant state employees and agents. As an example, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the state gave to newspapers a statement that about 50 guns and 80,000 rounds of ammunition were seized at the D.E.S. on the day plaintiffs were “ousted.” In fact, on Tuesday, November 29, D.P.S. staff stated clearly that the ammunition was “normal (and) on the light side.”

The Arizona Daily Independent reported earlier this year, that “nearly 7 months after DES interim Inspector General Dennis Young advised multiple people that the audit was complete and found the claims to be baseless,” yet the audit “included the finding that ammunition was purchased in violation of state law and an “excessive” amount of ammunition had been procured.”

3 Comments

  1. I wish the plaintiffs the greatest of success in this lawsuit. I would encourage the plaintiffs to seek extremely hefty dollar damages to bring light to the abuse of power that has taken place at the expense of their good names.
    Becky Thatchers pickett fence had less white wash on it then this report by the professionally bankrupt AZ. DPS.
    Unless Douchey wants to add perjury to his accomplishments while governor, I’d suggest he take the 5th.

    The Oracle

  2. Let me see if I got this right. Governor Dufus in all his wisdom, didn’t want the computer system that was millions of dollars over budget and worthless replaced or investigated because it would have led to some of his donors. Seems about right to me to throw the people that want to clean house under the bus to keep the spotlight off the cronies. Makes no difference how much the report lied, it has all been proven false. Go get them guys. Hope Governor Dufus has to pay the settlement out of his pocket. And there will be a settlement so that the truth remains buried and the cronies are kept harmless and the taxpayers will continue to pay for mistakes totaling millions.

  3. AZ is lucky that former DES Director Timothy Jeffries has the integrity and deep pockets to sue Governor Ducey for his ill conceived firing of the DES Director. We can only hope for a speedy trial so the people will know the truth when they go to the polls to decide the Governor`s political fate in 2018.

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