Montgomery says he’s stayed true to his word in case involving senator’s son

Oct 22, 2014, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:17 am

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he’s proven that he’s not being lenient with the relative of a high ranking politician.

Austin Flake and his wife Logan are indicted 28 counts of cruelty to animals after 23 dogs were found dead at the Green Acre Dog Boarding company in Gilbert. The Flakes were watching over the dogs while company owners Todd and Maleissa Hughes were out of town.

Austin is the son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Montgomery said that the charges prove that his office isn’t going light on the senator’s son.

“It’s been some bemusing that from the beginning when I said we were going to take this case seriously and assess it from an evidentiary perspective, and that no one’s high profile relationship to anyone else is going to be a factor, and that’s exactly the way we handled it,” said Montgomery. “Many people now are, I won’t say apologizing, but they are sending me messages stating that they should have believed me to begin with. I won’t say ‘I told you so,’ but this case is no different than any other in that regard or anything else that we’re going to do.”

The Flakes’ 28 counts, including 21 felony counts, of cruelty to animals are two fewer than those that the Hughes’ face — they are also accused of fraud. Montgomery wouldn’t say why the Flakes aren’t charged with that as well.

“In looking at the entirety of the investigation, we’ve been able, as prosecutors, to distinguish different levels of culpability between different defendants, and I think that’s reflected in the charges,” Montgomery said.

The county attorney said there is a reason that he let a grand jury decide whether to indict the defendants. He said that had his office filed a direct complaint with the court, it would have had to present a lengthy “mini trial” of the case in a preliminary hearing.

“If we go the grand jury route, we don’t have the hearing,” said Montgomery. “The state is able to present evidence and a witness in a much less formal setting and provide information to members of a grand jury and have them vote whether or not we presented enough evidence to establish probable cause.”

A hearing for the four defendants is set for Thursday.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
1 day ago
(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)...

Repeat sex offender sentenced to 20 years in Arizona prison

An Arizona man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for class three dangerous felonies and will be registered as a sex offender after release.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Alleged knife-wielder injured following officer-involved shooting in Phoenix

A man was hospitalized in stable condition after an officer-involved shooting occurred in Phoenix on Saturday morning, authorities said. 
1 day ago
Former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Border ...

Longtime US Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona dies at 80

Former U.S. Representative Jim Kolbe of Southern Arizona, who served in the House of Representatives for 22 years, died at the age of 80.
1 day ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation photo)...
Wills Rice

Storm leaves rain through entirety of Valley on Saturday, some lost power

A storm hit the Valley on Saturday, leaving rain spread out to all corners of Maricopa County and some were without power.
1 day ago
(Chandler Police Department photo)...

Silver Alert issued for 86-year-old woman who went missing in Chandler

A Silver Alert for an 86-year-old Chandler woman was issued Saturday morning after she went missing from her home.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Montgomery says he’s stayed true to his word in case involving senator’s son