Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has named a former state chief justice to review how she and other authorities handled the 15-day hostage standoff at Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis. Thomas Zlaket, a justice from 1992 to 2002, will conduct an independent review of negotiations, tactical and intelligence responses during the standoff, says the Arizona Republic.
Two inmates took over a watchtower Jan. 18 and held two officers hostage. A nine-member panel Napolitano appointed has delivered a preliminary report on problems both in the Lewis prison and throughout the state prison system. Napolitano acknowledged a “complete procedural breakdown” at the prison on Jan. 18. “The findings of the panel are outrageous, and I am determined to fix the long-term problems in the Department of Corrections as soon as possible,” Napolitano said.
“If we could have done it better, we want to know that.” She asked Zlaket, a moderate Republican appointed to the court by Gov. Fife Symington, to look into the standoff because he has “the ability, temperament and credibility to look at this objectively and give us his best advice.”