A much-anticipated $400,000 Arizona grand jury report on the nation’s longest prison hostage standoff will not be released to the public. Judge Colin Campbell of Maricopa County Superior Court ruled Monday that the investigation, initiated at the behest of Republican legislative leaders, was not the appropriate use of the grand jury process. He also admonished Mel McDonald, who was appointed a special deputy county attorney for the investigation, for misconduct in his handling of the inquiry.
The grand jury was asked to investigate crimes that may have been committed during the 15-day standoff in January at Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis other than those committed by the two inmates who took over a watchtower. The grand jury did not find enough evidence for criminal indictments. Instead, after reviewing the actions of public officials, state employees and others, it produced the 181-page report that now will remain under court seal. “It was a huge waste of taxpayer money,” said Sen. Bill Brotherton, D-Phoenix. “It was just a real abuse of the system.”