Robert Meza, Democratic member of the Arizona State Senate from LD30, has a history of questionable campaign finance actions and conflicts of interest within the Isaac School District. Even many of his democrat constituents are clamoring for change and calling for new leadership.
Performance of schools in LD30 are suffering and there is still job loss while many Arizona voting districts are benefiting from job growth. Some residents describe Meza as arrogant and others say he has done nothing for citizens for many years. He is so comfortable in his position that he is not campaigning and has not put up any signs.
Meza has demonstrated a dismal voting record that is in conflict with many of the core values of families in Arizona. He is not helping families in LD30 to be able to enjoy a better quality of life.
Arizona's economy is growing and helping families begin to recover from the economic downturn, but Meza has voted against the very things that have been helping drive our economy forward. Many of his votes have hurt Arizona families.
Sen. Meza has been on the wrong side of many legislative issues:
- Voted in favor of excessive government control of our educational system (SB 1310)
- Voted against allowing individuals the right to litigate for violation of their religious freedom (SB 1178)
- Voted against job creating legislation (HB 2815)
- Voted to allow late term partial birth abortion (SB 1048)
- Voted against gun owners’ rights (HB 2389)
- Voted against a State spending freeze (HB 2857)
- Voted against Physicians informing women of fetal pain (HB 2254)
- Voted against allowing religious objections by Medical Professionals (SB 1365)
- Voted in favor of criminals who commit Felony Offenses (SCR 1020)
- Voted in favor of Temporary Sales Tax Increase (SCR 1011)
- Voted against the Student's Religious Liberties Act (HB 2713)
Meza ran unopposed in 2012 after an ugly primary battle with Raquel Teran during which he filed a complaint with the Secretary of State against a group of students volunteering for Teran. He filed three complaints up to that point.
The irony of Meza filing those complaints is that he has been investigated for campaign finance violations and some allegedly corrupt activities including funneling almost $15,000 into what appears to be a family slush fund, away from the Isaac School District where his sister and brother-in-law work. This all started in 2006 and unfortunately the man who was documenting this has since passed away and his files are missing.
The following information is believed to expose corruption, conflicts of interest, and possible illegal activities in late 2006, 2007, 2008, and perhaps even later, by individuals connected with the Administration of the ISAAC School District.
This information appears to expose possible corrupt activities, specifically by the former Communications Director for ISAAC, Mr. Abedon Fimbres, who is now the Director of Safety for the ISAAC School Administration. These allegations also include potential conflicts of interest by Mr. Fimbres wife, Liz Meza-Fimbres, the Sister of Senator Robert Meza who is also listed on Senator Meza’s campaign organizational statement as Treasurer of his campaign committee. Of note also is the fact that Liz Meza-Fimbres ran for and was elected to the Phoenix Elementary School Governing Board in 2008. Ms. Fimbres chose not to use the Fimbres name in her effort to win the Board seat but instead chose to run under the name of ‘Liz Meza’. These allegations further include the daughter of Liz Meza-Fimbres, Desirae Evans, and the Son of Abedon and Liz Meza-Fimbres, Troy Evans.
In late 2006, the ISAAC School Board authorized a bond override election and Abedon Fimbres allegedly used his position as the ISAAC Communications Director to solicit funds from existing and pending vendors who had contracts with the ISAAC School District. Those funds were purportedly to be used for the bond override election but the Fimbres family became the apparent benefactor of the majority of the money raised by Abedon Fimbres.
It is believed Mr. Abedon Fimbres coordinated with his wife, Liz Meza-Fimbres, and her daughter, Desirae, to file in Maricopa County, a political committee statement of organization forming a committee by the name of ‘EXCELLENCE IN ISAAC’. Liz Meza-Fimbres was identified as the Treasurer of the committee and their daughter, Desirae Evans, was identified as the Chairman of the committee. The address given for this particular political committee was 1833 W. Lewis Ave, Phoenix, AZ., the address of Mr. Abedon and Liz-Meza Fimbres. This address is outside of the ISAAC School District. It is believed that override committees and activities were supposed to be managed by residents in the community of the ISAAC District.
It is also apparent that Abedon and Liz-Meza Fimbres coordinated with their son, Troy Evans, a 23 year old college dropout at the time, to form a political consulting LLC by the name of T.A.E. Consulting LLC. It is believed the acronym T.A.E. was a composite of the initials of the first names of Troy, Abedon, and Elizabeth (Liz). Of interest also is the fact that at that time, Troy had no previous experience doing political consulting or running a campaign. It is believed T.A.E. Consulting was established for the sole purpose of funneling money from Vendors contracted with ISAAC back to the Fimbres family.
As Director of Communications, Mr. Abedon Fimbres had access to businesses and individuals who were contracted Vendors with the ISAAC District and used his position at ISAAC to raise funds from the following contracted vendors and individuals:
1. Joe Zavislak – Marketing $5,000.00
2. Allied Waste - $3,000.00
3. Hewlitt Packard - $1,000.00
4. Hillyard Company - $1,000.00
5. Orcott Winslow Company - $1,000.00
6. Tolin Mechanical - $3,000.00
7. 21st Century Security, Inc. - $250.00
8. Bonds Alarm, Inc. - $500.00
Because of the fact the bond override election in 2007 was lost; another override was done in 2008. In September 2008, another political committee and statement of organization was created and a filing done in Maricopa County. The name of that committee was ‘Vote Yes for ISAAC Students Committee’. The Chairman of this committee was an individual by the name of Sammy Leyvas and the address of record for this committee was 2653 N. 43rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ., the address of Mr. Leyvas. Mr. Leyvas is the Cousin of the Superintendent of ISAAC School District, Mr. Carlos Bejarano. The Treasurer of this Committee was an individual by the name of Sylvia Yamasaki.
It is purported that Mr. Leyvas operated under the direction of Mr. Carlos Bejarano and Mr. Abedon Fimbres as to how to run the bond override election. Since Abedon had previously solicited vendors in the 2007 override, it is believed Mr. Bejarano requested that Mr. Fimbres supervise his Cousin, Mr. Leyvas, relative to the activities of the Political Committee for the bond override. It was decided that Abedon Fimbres would again solicit funds from School vendors in support of the override election.
Funds obtained from Vendors for the 2008 Bond Override were as follows:
1. Joe Zavislak - $5,000.00
2. Orcott Winslow - $1,000.00
3. Tolin Mechanical Systems - $1,000.00
4. Sunland Asphalt - $250.00
5. Hillyard of AZ - $500.00
The funds obtained from Vendors who had contracts or pending contracts with the ISAAC District were controlled by Mr. Abedon Fimbres, who at that time was still the Director of Communications. Reportedly, Sammy Leyvas, as Committee Chairman, requested receipts and an accounting of the disbursements of the funds collected by Mr. Fimbres on behalf of the committee, but was refused. It has also been reported that Abedon Fimbres informed Mr. Leyvas that where those funds went was ‘none of his business’. Campaign finance reports appear to be totally inadequate, incomplete, and are not supported with proper documentation.
All companies, from whom funds were solicited by Mr. Abedon Fimbres, were doing business with ISAAC and, it is reported that Mr. Joe Zavislak was waiting for approval on a pending contract with ISAAC.
A total of $14,750.00 was solicited from vendors for the 2007 override. Of the $14,750.00 raised, $13,764.76 was paid to T.A.E. Consulting of Arizona, the LLC owned by Troy Evans, Abedon and Liz-Meza Fimbres son.
Additionally $541.24 was paid to Abedon and Liz Fimbres. The total amount of the solicited funds raised from ISAAC School District Vendors paid to the Fimbres Family was $ 14,306.00 out of the total amount of $14,750.00.
It appears Liz Meza-Fimbres filed campaign finance reports which are totally inadequate, incomplete, and misleading. There was no listing of a banking institution on the finance reports.There appears to be conclusive information that the Fimbres family set up this scheme to benefit themselves and their 23 yr. old son who had no experience as a political consultant or been previously involved in any kind of business. The Fimbres family appears to have taken money designated to benefit the children of the ISAAC School District and put it in their own pocket.
More recently, in 2012, Sen. Meza was investigated by the Secretary of State's office because he appeared to use money for personal use and collected illegal campaign contributions.
Campaign Finance reports for Senator Robert Meza from 2012, show that campaign expenses were paid to Abedon Fimbres, Communications Director for ISAAC School District for ‘Professional Services’ on multiple occasions. There is no indication what those ‘Professional Services’ were, nor was there disclosure that the funds were being paid to a close family member of Robert Meza. Abedon Fimbres is Robert Meza's Brother-in-Law. It is important to also restate the fact that Liz-Meza Fimbres is Senator Robert Meza’s Campaign Treasurer. Given the history and background related to Liz Meza-Fimbres and the entanglement of family members related to the disbursement of those funds; a closer look at her management of the campaign funds for Robert Meza may be in order.
There are many other allegations that are not alluded to in this article; however, it is believed that a more thorough investigation will uncover numerous other irregularities, conflicts of interest, and other potentially corrupt activities.