Part 2 – UPL violations and “HOAS” in the title.
(See Part 1).
E. Sanctions against HOA managers violating UPL
In spite of several emails sent to Rep. Ugenti, the Senate GE members, and the public in general there was no mention in the public hearings about the actions taken by the Arizona Supreme Court document preparer board in 2012 regarding the unauthorized practice of law, Supreme Court Rule 31). (See Arizona’s HB 2371 empowers unlicensed HOA property managers to avoid UPL). I refer to the State Bar UPL Advisory Opinion, 12-01 and the decision holding AAM, a AACM and CAI member, to have repeatedly violated UPL. (Supreme Court Board of Legal Document Preparers v. AAM, LDP-NFC-09-L094 and LDP-NFC-10-L026). Rather than seek remedial legislation SB1454 and HB 2371 sought to exempt HOA managers from UPL.
The illusion and appearance that all is well and that no stakeholder or legislator was aware of these actions was successful.
F. Arizona Capitol Times showing “HOAS” in SB 1454 short title
Finally, the weekly Arizona Capitol Times (ACT) covers goings on at the capitol and produces an online LOLA Report listing the short and long titles of all the bills. Its LOLA shows “HOAS” in the short tile of SB 1454. It states that the info is taken “from Arizona Capitol Reports reporters and records and from state and other databases. Bill-tracking information is updated continuously during legislative sessions.” But, the official ALIS public access to legislative bill information does not show a short title with “HOAS.” Who, when, and how was “HOAS” removed from the short title? And why was it removed? Surely ACT had no motive to change ALIS to add “HOAS”, and would not dare to do so.
Curiously, the AACM website under Legislative Update shows the same short title as from LOLA, as AACM states that’s where it got the info. Why wasn’t this called to Ugenti’s attention, or did nobody notice? Yet, there’s an addendum tacked on to the title, in all caps, “AS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR,” which could only come on June 20th or later with still no correction to reflect the official ALIS version. Why not?
It has come to my attention that Jeff Sandquist, AACM lobbyist, explained that the state’s position for settling the constitutionality lawsuit was because it wanted to save portions of the bill that it thought was more important. He seems to be aware that if the court declared the entire bill unconstitutional the initial SB 1454 provisions dealing with Elections would also be invalidated. However, by leaving off “HOAS” in the title the State could argue, if indeed the “plot” was discovered, as it was, that only the second part of Section 13 of the Constitution applied. This would only invalidate the HOA provisions. And so it happened.
Was this the plan for removing “HOAS”? Was this the plan for getting Senator Yee’s approval for attaching HB 2371 to her bill, SB 1454? That her original bill would survive? Recall that Rep. Olson apparently didn’t approve of the Griffin attempt to add HB 2371 to his bill, HB 2518, and it died.
So I argue SB1454 was rushed through in the final hours of the night on the last day of the session, in the midst of attention focused on the budget and Medicare issues. The session ended just before 1:00 AM on the 14th.
“The founders understood that the principal mission of government was to secure people in their natural rights — to protect them against the lawless private thugs as well as of ill-intentioned legislators.” (“Machiavelli and America,” Hadley Arkes, p. 145, The Prince (Yale University Press, 1999)).
The arguments and events presented here make a case for a frustrated Rep. Ugenti who, in an act of desperation, intentionally violated the Arizona Constitution and House Rule 16(D). The Legislature cannot sit idly by and allow a flagrant violation of the Arizona Constitution to go unpunished. It must send a message that such ardent belief in a bill does not allow for the law to be broken and that the end does not justify the means.
I have urged the Arizona Speaker of the House and House Ethics Committee to bring disciplinary charges against Rep. Ugenti and to seek her expulsion under House Rule 1. Many questions remain unanswered.