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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

[AZ] Senator Scott Bundgaard's ex-girlfriend Aubry: "I don't have another tear left to cry."

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard called the media and told them to come to his house and see his wounds. An off-duty police officer spotted Sen. Scott Bundgaard and his then-girlfriend Aubrey Ballard on the side of the road in a physical altercation. Bundgaard was not taken to jail because he claimed diplomatic immunity - as a senator. Aubry Ballard was not so privileged and had to spend the night in jail.

...Officers who arrived on the scene found that both Bundgaard and Ballard had marks suggesting a physical altercation, according to Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson...


EX-GIRLFRIEND AUBRY BALLARD
...Aubry Ballard is a small woman, not much over 100 pounds. She sat across from me Monday afternoon at a Phoenix coffee shop where, hesitantly, she showed me the bruises on both sides of her chest, near her collar bones. And the bruises on her arms. And the scrapes on both knees... "To go from putting on a beautiful dress for a great date to a fundraiser to ending up on the side of a freeway? I don't have another tear left to cry. I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions, the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing, my bruises, scrapes and soreness and his statements to the media"...

SENATOR BUNDGAARD:
...Bundgaard denies hitting or shoving Ballard but says that she struck him "a few times in the face, and one time with her phone"... "I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. There was no domestic violence," Bundgaard said... "There's no proof that exists that I did anything to hurt her," Bundgaard told FOX 10 over the weekend. "The assault in my case is visible, black eye, fat lip"... After all that, you would think it would dawn on Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard that the end result of his grandstanding at the expense of his now-former girlfriend is that he has framed an image of himself as a narcissistic cad, one all too willing to throw poor Aubry Ballard under a careening double-decker bus... In plying his fantasies, the majority leader apparently is trying to play the public for some kind of idiots by the roadside...

IMMUNITY:
... Bundgaard informed the officers that he was an Arizona State Senator and as such, was immune from arrest... allowing police to haul off his girlfriend while he went home... Police also said Bundgaard invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent... He then issued a statement throwing Ballard under the bus... Some Democrats are chafing at what they say could be a misuse of the state Constitution's legislative-immunity clause... Phoenix attorney Dan Barr says the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled - twice - that there is no such thing as legislative immunity against an arrest"... Police could have arrested Bundgaard whether or not he invoked his legislative privilege because the case was criminal... Most states of the U.S. have extended this privilege to members of their legislatures...

Ballard says the state senator has not been telling the truth - and she has the bruises and bumps to prove it. She says she got more upset when Bundgaard sat by and watched her being handcuffed and arrested, because she says he told them he was an Arizona State Senator and couldn't be arrested. "He was able to walk away with a get-out-of-jail-free card," Ballard said. "I had to sit in that police car and have an officer tell me, 'I hate to do this to you, I'm so sorry putting you through this, but we're arresting you.'" Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson says both had bruising consistent with a physical altercation and that the senator did claim diplomatic immunity at the scene.

News folks talk to legal folks on why only Aubry Ballard was arrested. Bundgaard and Ballard initially released a joint statement that makes you think it wasn't Aubry doing the writing. It was probably written while she was still in jail: "We want to jointly apologize for allowing a private matter to interrupt the public...We intend to go our separate ways now and put what happened Friday night and Saturday in the past. Obviously, we're both tired and embarassed. Each of us would like to reclaim some privacy." Ballard says she has been dragged through the mud and she now sees a side of him that makes marriage impossible. "I'm the LEAST jealous person..." She says argument spiraled into nightmare. Ballard showed the reporter her bruises and police took pics of her injuries. BALLARD WANTS THE LAW CHANGED "SO THAT STATE SENATORS ARE NOT IMMUNE FROM BEING ARRESTED IF THEY ARE ACCUSED OF A MISDEANOR."

Bundgaard on the edge of tears in a broken voice to the Senate: "She's sweet, she's passionate. She's an extraordinary woman with a big heart." That's when he isn't saying that Aubry Ballard punched him the face.
Ballard says she is trying to wrap her head around the experience = and has thinking and praying to do before she decides what to do next.


Ballard says the public has not been hearing the truth. Aubrey says she is covered with bruises and showed bruises to reporter. Aubrey's dad doesn't understand how his daughter is injured and Bundgaard doesn't have to go to jail.
Bundgaard feels handcuffing him and putting him in police car was "OVERKILL." "...There's no *visible* signs I (pause) ... There's *no proof* that exists that I did anything to hurt her..."

6. Privilege from arrest; civil process: Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, and they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.

[Most states of the U.S. have extended this privilege to members of their legislatures.]

AZ SEN. BUNDGAARD: GIRLFRIEND WAS JEALOUS
MyFox Phoenix:
26 Feb 2011
[Excerpts]We are not used to seeing state Sen. Scott Bundgaard with a split lip and a black eye. Bundgaard sent the pictures to FOX 10 after there were reports on Saturday that the Arizona lawmaker was involved in a domestic violence incident – reports that he denies. Bundgaard wanted to get his story out after Phoenix police confirmed they had, in fact, arrested his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, Friday night after a fight on the freeway. He claims that his girlfriend got upset after a “Dancing With the Stars” charity event. He said she was jealous after a rhumba dance... Ballard released a statement Saturday night that said: "Last night was the absolute worst night of my life ... I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions; the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing; my bruises, scrapes and soreness; and his statements to the media.”... Bundgaard claimed he didn't hurt his girlfriend and also has a different view on his immunity from arrest... [Full article here]

ARIZONA SENATE MAJORITY LEADER SCOTT BUNDGAARD: ARIZ. SENATE LEADER AVOIDS ARREST AFTER FIGHT WITH GIRLFRIEND
azfamily.com
by Alicia E. Barrón
Posted on February 26, 2011
Updated Feb 27 at 4:50 PM
[Excerpts] Arizona Senate majority leader Scott Bundgaard (R-LD4) was involved in an apparent scuffle with his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, Friday night as the couple returned from a local charity event. Phoenix police say they responded to a call of a man pulling a woman out of a car next to the median northbound on State Route 51 south of Cactus Road on Friday just after 11 p.m. When officers responded to the scene they determined the individuals involved were Sen. Scott Bundgaard, 43, and his girlfriend Aubrey Michelle Ballard, 34. Officers who arrived on the scene found that both Bundgaard and Ballard had marks suggesting a physical altercation, according to Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson. Bundgaard was not detained because he has immunity from arrest while the legislature is in session, however prosecutors will review the case and could file charges at a later date, Thompson said. Ballard was booked into a Maricopa County jail. She faces one count of domestic violence assault "She proceeded to throw my clothes and other things out of my car on a freeway as I took her home," Bundgaard said in a statement Saturday. The senator said he tried to stop his girlfriend from punching him, which resulted in marks on her knees. Bundgaard said he pulled Ballard out of the car, but denied ever hitting or pushing her. "I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. There was no domestic violence," Bundgaard said. Ballard described the incident as "the absolute worst night of my life" in her own statement released Saturday. "To go from putting on a beautiful dress for a great date to a fundraiser to ending up on the side of a freeway? I don't have another tear left to cry," she said. "I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions, the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing, my bruises, scrapes and soreness and his statements to the media"... [Full article here]

AZ SENATOR AND GIRLFRIEND RELEASE STATEMENT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
MyFox Phoenix
27 Feb 2011
[Excerpts] The Arizona Senate majority leader and his girlfriend have issued a joint statement after Phoenix police arrested his girlfriend on Friday following alleged domestic violence. State Sen. Scott Bundgaard, 43, and his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, 34, both had marks on their body from a physical confrontation, police said... "We want to jointly apologize for allowing a private matter to interrupt the public -- and especially for taking up the valuable time of law enforcement. The police officers who responded deserve thanks for their sensitivity and compassion... Obviously, we're both tired and embarrassed. Each of us would like to reclaim some privacy. We hope the media and the public can respect that decision. Thank you for your understanding."... Monica Lindstrom, a Scottsdale attorney, told FOX 10 the "privilege from arrest" provision is real and necessary. “These people are not immune from the charges or the punishment. They’re only immune from the actual arrest,” Lindstrom said. Lindstrom said it’s a necessary immunity in order to avoid legislators from being unable to vote... The case will be submitted to the prosecutor's office for review... [Full article here]

GIRLFRIEND IS CLASSIER THAN OUR LAWMAKER AFTER FIGHT
Arizona Republic
E.J. Montini's Columns & Blog
Monday, February 28
[Excerpts] Aubry Ballard is a small woman, not much over 100 pounds. She sat across from me Monday afternoon at a Phoenix coffee shop where, hesitantly, she showed me the bruises on both sides of her chest, near her collar bones. And the bruises on her arms. And the scrapes on both knees. “It has been a tough thing to go through,” she said. “But to see the things about me in the media. People saying I'm crazy. That's not me. I not a public person so I don't have experience in this. But that's not me”... Bundgaard used the get-out-of-jail-free card that lawmakers have while they're in session. He asserted his “legislative immunity,” allowing police to haul off his girlfriend while he went home. He then issued a statement throwing Ballard under the bus... It can be difficult to judge “classy” in a he-said-she-said situation. But it gets a lot easier when “he” goes out of his way to trash her and when “she” gets the chance to return the favor but does not. Ballard will only say that the argument in the car was not about jealousy. “There were relationship problems,” she said... “I know there is sunshine around the corner,” Ballard said. “I just want people to know that I am not a violent or crazy person. I can choose to allow this to damage me or I can grow from it”... [Full article here]

SCOTT BUNDGAARD, ARIZ. LAWMAKER, HAS IMMUNITY FOR FREEWAY FIGHT
CBS News
Carlin DeGuerin Miller
February 28, 2011 1:50 PM
[Excerpts] Scott Bundgaard and his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, got into such a heated argument that Bundgaard had to pull over to the side of a busy Arizona highway, prompting an off-duty officer to call the police. Both Ballard and Bundgaard showed physical signs of an altercation but only Ballard ended up in jail... Bundgaard happens to be an Arizona state legislator and is therefore immune from arrest while the Legislature is in session... Police say the 43-year-old Bundgaard and 34-year-old Ballard both had marks on their body from a physical confrontation, which constituted an act of domestic violence... Bundgaard informed the officers that he was an Arizona State Senator and as such, was immune from arrest... Police also said Bundgaard invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent... Bundgaard denies hitting or shoving Ballard but says that she struck him "a few times in the face, and one time with her phone"... Immunity from arrest does not mean Bundgaard cannot be charged, only that he cannot be booked into jail. Phoenix police said they will submit the case for review for charges to the city attorney's office... Ballard did not return phone calls but she did release a written statement... "To go from putting on a beautiful dress for a great date to a fundraiser to ending up on the side of a freeway? I don't have another tear left to cry. I'm still trying to get my mind around a few things: Scott's actions, the 17 hours I spent in jail awaiting processing, my bruises, scrapes and soreness and his statements to the media"... [Full article here]

SEN. BUNDGAARD ON FIGHT WITH GIRLFRIEND: I SHOULD NOT BE ABOVE THE LAW
azfamily.com
by Alicia E. Barrón
February 28, 2011
The Senate majority leader who had a weekend scuffle with his girlfriend that left him with a black eye says he should not be above the law. Sen. Scott Bundgaard was not arrested following the domestic dispute because of a state law that gives legislators immunity, but his then-girlfriend, Aubrey Ballard, was. The senator is clear that he told police officers he was a lawmaker but says he did that to let them know their handling of the case would probably draw extra scrutiny and not because he wanted to avoid being arrested... Ballard spent Friday night in jail, but she has since been released and will not be charged... [Full article here]

ATTORNEY: SENATOR SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN GRANTED IMMUNITY: Lawmaker Allowed to Go Home After Fight On Freeway With Girlfriend
KPHO.com
Jason Barry
February 28, 2011
[Excerpts] The Arizona state senator stopped by police for fighting with his girlfriend over the weekend, should not have been given immunity from arrest, according to Valley attorney Dan Barr... constitutional law attorney Dan Barr told CBS 5 News that if you read the provision carefully, Bundgaard should not have been granted immunity. Article 4 Section 6 of the Arizona State Constitution states, "Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace." According to Barr, a fight with a girlfriend on the freeway would constitute a breach of the peace... Bundgaard confirmed that he told police he was immune from arrest because of his status as a state legislator. Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said that they consulted their legal department and the senator was granted immunity because they did not feel the incident was a "breach of the peace"... "What's good for the goose is good for the gander," said state Sen. Leah Landrum-Taylor. "We shouldn't have a double standard." "We need to look at that and make sure we fix it, so that lawmakers are held to the exact same standard that every citizen in this state is held to," said state Sen. Chad Campbell... [Full article here]

SENATOR'S EX TELLS HER SIDE OF THE STORY: BREAKS SILENCE ON WEEKEND DOMESTIC DISPUTE
MyFox Phoenix
1 Mar 2011
[Excerpts] A freeway fight between a state Senator and his girlfriend just got more interesting. Up until now we've only heard Republican Senator Scott Bundgaard's side of the story... We sat down with Aubry Ballard, Bundgaard's now ex-girlfriend. She said what you've been hearing is not true. "Sitting in that jail cell I didn't think I was going to come out to my mug shot being on every TV screen. I'm on TMZ. I'm labeled as this crazy girl and that's not who I am... This has been a huge wake up call for me. It's been a constant nightmare. It's very surreal to have to spend 17 hours in jail and to know that it was so easy for him to use this 'get out of jail free' pass and yet I sit there. It's been very painful... I'm covered in bruises. I'd rather not discuss the specifics, but I think that's the hardest part, was to see that he got handcuffed and I was arrested but he was able to walk away. And yet I have bruises on me." Ballard showed us her bruises... [Full article here]

EX-GIRLFRIEND SPEAKS OUT OVER FIGHT WITH ARIZONA LAWMAKER
ABC15.com
By: Jennifer Parks
March 1, 2011
[Excerpts] The 34-year-old woman who said she once called Scott Bundgaard a boyfriend tells ABC15 her relationship is now over. Aubry Ballard says she has not spoken to the Senate Majority Leader since the night of the freeway fight in Phoenix. "For me to have to get hauled off to jail while he drives off with his family, and for me to be left behind, it's a bad feeling," she said. "It doesn't feel good." Ballard says it was tough to see her picture everywhere, a mugshot portraying her as "a crazy person"... We asked Ballard if the fight started because of jealousy over her ex-boyfriend's dance partner. "No absolutely not," she responded. For legal reasons, she wouldn't talk about what happened on the freeway Friday night, choosing not to comment on whether she threw his clothes out the car windows, or if she hit him. But Ballard did tell ABC15 the state senator has not been telling the truth and she has the bruises and bumps to prove it... Ballard says she got more upset when Bundgaard sat by and watched her being handcuffed and arrested, because she says he told them he was an Arizona State Senator and couldn't be arrested. "He was able to walk away with a get-out-of-jail-free card," Ballard said. "I had to sit in that police car and have an officer tell me, 'I hate to do this to you, I'm so sorry putting you through this, but we're arresting you'"... [Full article here]

ARIZONA LAWMAKER BUNDGAARD APOLOGIZES FOR FREEWAY INCIDENT
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 1, 2011
[Excerpts] A key Senate Democrat says lawmakers may call for an ethics investigation into the Friday night fracas between Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard and his now-former girlfriend. Some lawmakers question whether he abused the privilege of legislative immunity from arrest. Bundgaard, R-Peoria, apologized to colleagues for the incident, which has grabbed national headlines, in remarks Monday on the Senate floor, and he teared up when he spoke about Aubry Ballard. "I'm the one who signed up for this public life, not her," said Bundgaard, his voice breaking. "She's sweet, she's passionate. She's an extraordinary woman with a big heart"... Some Democrats are chafing at what they say could be a misuse of the state Constitution's legislative-immunity clause, which police said led to Bundgaard's release... About 5 p.m. Saturday, [Ballard] appeared in Phoenix Municipal Court, where a prosecutor moved to dismiss the charge with prejudice, meaning it can be refiled. Bundgaard said Ballard punched him in the face while he was driving, according to court records... "This has been difficult on my family," she said. "It's been hard on my dad, who is very protective. But it's also a great lesson to me." She and Bundgaard issued a joint statement Sunday saying they were splitting up and apologizing to police and the public. During his remarks Monday, Bundgaard called for an end to legislative immunity, which he called "archaic." He also said he has "waived any and all claims to any perception of legislative immunity." -- "I am not above the law. I have never suggested that I'm above the law," he said... Police could have arrested Bundgaard whether or not he invoked his legislative privilege because the case was criminal, and he still can be charged, police said... He wed in 2006 in a covenant marriage to a woman from Georgia, but his wife filed to have the union annulled after they returned from their honeymoon. The marriage officially was annulled in June 2008... [Full article here]

SENATOR PLAYS PUBLIC FOR FOOLS
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 2, 2011
[Excerpts] After all his news releases and the close-up photos of his ever-so horrifying scrapes and bruises . . . After all the TV interviews and the disingenuously weepy floor speeches in the state Senate . . . After all the weasel-word puffery about his own stone-cold stoicism while facing down an allegedly vicious attack by an "intoxicated" woman half his size . . . After all the on-air radio harangues about how mean the media are being to him following his roadside domestic-violence incident on Friday night and the "legislative immunity" that saved him from spending a night in the pokey . . . After all that, you would think it would dawn on Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard that the end result of his grandstanding at the expense of his now-former girlfriend is that he has framed an image of himself as a narcissistic cad, one all too willing to throw poor Aubry Ballard under a careening double-decker bus. One would think. But . . . no... The Peoria Republican contends he never invoked the now-famous "legislative immunity" privilege. He merely announced his status... According to Bundgaard, Phoenix police on the scene made an independent determination that Ballard was wholly in the wrong. That would be the nine Phoenix officers, including a supervisor, who were at the scene precisely because it involved a person who identified himself as a state lawmaker... Bundgaard had been placed in handcuffs for a reason. Both Bundgaard and Ballard showed clear evidence of violence. A witness saw Bundgaard dragging Ballard out of his car. Wary of the questions the officers were asking, Bundgaard invoked his Fifth Amendment right to silence. What in the world would give the cops the impression Bundgaard was pure as fallen snow and should go scot-free? The answer, of course, is the answer the cops have repeated numerous times: They didn't. They let him go because he enjoyed legislative immunity from arrest, and because he asserted that immunity. "He cited the article to our supervisor," Phoenix police spokesman Trent Crump said. In plying his fantasies, the majority leader apparently is trying to play the public for some kind of idiots by the roadside. [Full article here]

DESPITE FEDERAL RULINGS, LEGISLATORS CLING TO IMMUNITY CLAUSE
The Arizona Republic
by Laurie Roberts
Mar. 2, 2011
[Excerpts] ...Phoenix attorney Dan Barr says the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled - twice - that there is no such thing as legislative immunity against an arrest. "Neither Scott Bundgaard nor any other member of the Arizona Legislature is immune from arrest in a criminal matter," he said. That's because the language in the Arizona Constitution mirrors language in the U.S. Constitution, which, in turn, stems from an English law enacted in 1770. That law - which overturned what the U.S. Supreme Court would later call "doubtful notions as to the historic privileges of members of Parliament" - specified that members of Parliament were subject to civil process as long as they weren't arrested or imprisoned. Given that, in 1908 in Williamson vs. United States and again in 1934 in Long vs. Anshell, the U.S Supreme Court held that legislative immunity applies only to an arrest in a civil suit. "When the Constitution was adopted, arrests in civil suits were still common in America," the court wrote in 1934. "It is only to such arrests that the provision applies." Except, of course, on the side of a freeway in Phoenix. Though Bundgaard's bogus immunity argument allowed him to avoid arrest - so far, at least - he still could be prosecuted, and he should be if he assaulted his now-former girlfriend. And vice versa... [Full article here]
[public official involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety arizona state politics]

2 comments:

  1. POLICE REPORT SHEDS LIGHT ON SENATOR'S DV INCIDENT
    myfoxphoenix.com
    2 Mar 2011
    [Excerpts] We're getting some insight into what really happened during the now infamous freeway fight between former couple Senator Scott Bundgaard and Aubry Ballard. A Phoenix Police report has new details... "Scott stated he was a state senator and that he was in session... He was immune to arrest... Based on Senator Bundgaard's position he was released." The senator was not released due to lack of evidence, like he claimed... Ballard showed to bruises to a FOX 10 reporter, but she didn't want them on film. "They want me to come out and show my bruises. I'm not about to. I just need to walk away from this and claim my life back," she told us. The officer also requested "that the domestic violence assault charge be submitted... When the [legislature] is not in session." It is up to the prosecutor's office to charge Bundgaard when the legislative session ends, around the end of April. [Full article here]

    ReplyDelete
  2. BUNDGAARD SHOULD BE STRIPPED OF HIS MAJORITY LEADER POST
    azcentral.com
    Laurie Roberts
    March 3, 2011
    [Excerpts] ...Senate President/Chief Apologist Russell Pearce has declared his second in command, Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard, a “victim” in Friday's night's episode of Scuffling with the Senator. "I know what is going on," Pearce said Wednesday. "I think he is a victim of this whole thing. I feel bad for him. He certainly has paid the price." This, before even catching a glimpse of the police report. Well, the report is now out and it seems Bundgaard may not be quite the "victim" that Pearce thinks he is. No. 1: He obviously lied when he went on KFYI and said he never invoked legislative immunity from arrest. The police make it quite clear that he did. Why else would they have dispatched nine officers to the side of the freeway where Bundgaard and his girlfriend were getting into it? Why else would they have been consulting with the police department's legal advisor about the immunity clause on Friday night? No. 2. Bundgaard says there was no domestic violence and that, if anything, it was his girlfriend, Aubrey Ballard, who was hitting him. Maybe she was. But an off-duty cop saw him “pushing or pulling” her and said she fell onto the ground “while the male had his hands on her.” Ballard, meanwhile, said that Bundgaard hit her in the chest twice, bruising her and that she then responded by slapping him in the face. Later, after they both were in the median of the freeway looking for the cell phone he’d thrown out the window, she said he pushed her to the ground, at least twice... The fact that Bundgaard hasn’t stepped aside as Senate majority leader is unsurprising. The fact that Pearce hasn't demanded it is just sad. The fact that the rest of the Republicans in the Senate haven't demanded it is alarming... [Full article here]

    ReplyDelete

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