Here's a link to Barbara Sloan's story and petition at CHANGE.org
Despite 12News' prior coverage of Barbara Sloan's case, Chief Bob Khan is apparently oblivious to the shoddy, arguably criminal work of the Fire Investigations' Unit. That guy needs to go. So does Jack Ballantine.
Thank you, Wendy Halloran, for your commitment to helping citizens seek true justice from this corrupt system.
The cases against Barbara Sloan and Carl Caples were dropped by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Sloan said she spent $300,000 to defend herself; Caples spent 16 months in jail awaiting trial.
In April, Sloan and Caples filed complaints against the Fire Department with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix.
Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan sent a memo, dated April 15, to City Manager David Cavazos announcing that he had formed a Fire Investigation Review Committee.
Document: Creation of review committee
The panel will review the methods, data and performance used to calculate the department’s arson-case clearance rate — the percentage of fires determined to be arson that result in arrests.
The department in May 2012 said that it had one of the highest arson clearance rates in the country, at 57 percent.
Khan will head the committee, which will include retired Superior Court Chief Justice Jim Keppel, Mesa Assistant Police Chief Heston Silbert and six others.
The Fire Department’s internal investigation follows a 12 News investigation that aired in February profiling the Sloan case.
Sloan’s home, near Roma Avenue and Camelback Road, burned down May 13, 2009. Two Phoenix arson investigators, Capt.Sam Richardson and Capt. Fred Andes, concluded that Sloan had committed arson after she wasn’t able to sell the home.
The County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges on Oct. 15, 2010, after Richardson admitted he had Sloan arrested solely because she was the homeowner and that he had no evidence tying her to the fire.
Richardson’s and Andes’ colleagues and two independent arson experts determined the fire started in Sloan’s car, which was parked in the garage. No accelerant was found.
Richardson also was the lead investigator in the Caples case.
The home Caples was renting near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive burned May 7, 2009.
Richardson concluded that Caples poured gasoline on three areas in the back of the home. A separate investigation by Caples’ defense expert concluded that the fire started in the attic and was caused by a short in the electrical system.
On Sept. 27, 2010, the day Caples’ trial was to begin, the County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges.
The FBI has no timetable for its investigation.
Khan said the executive review committee will present its findings and recommendations by the end of the summer.
The members of the Fire Investigation Review Committee are: