Smell & Wilmer. The Plot Thickens
An interesting story just got more so.
We’ve previously written about the public affairs debacle in Maricopa and the professional pugilists that have come to town to upend a popular plan for a private motorsports club called Apex. Here is the link. The project gained unanimous Planning Commission and City Council support despite their black arts, underscoring the Keystone Cops approach led by former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods. The smackdown of the “opposition” at the City Council hearing was epic, led by Maricopa Mayor Christian Price’s dismantling of Woods.
Woods, who is likely to have never been to Maricopa in his life, showed up opposing the case but wouldn’t say who was paying him, though it is widely believed to be Attesa, a project in nearby Casa Grande that oddly believes it must “kill” Apex in Maricopa for success. They must not think very highly of their own business plan. The owner is an eccentric individual, but that is a topic for another time.
The plot thickens and the stench? More pungent.
Let us say here if any of this isn’t true we welcome Attesa and its lawyers and lobbyists to send us clarification and submit an alternate point of view.
Woods was purportedly hired by Snell & Wilmer, the law firm for Attesa. Arizona’s largest law firm and previously one with a sterling reputation apparently didn’t like the optics of the too obvious connection so they dished out their dirty work to Woods. The Snell & Wilmer effort is led by Nick Wood, no relation to Grant Woods. Wood has also apparently brought in Joe Villasenor, a former City of Phoenix staffer well known in Arizona real estate circles, to assist with the anonymous attacks.
The whole effort is so strikingly bad and dirty to suggest the state’s most distinguished law firm should be renamed Smell & Wilmer. And the effort is angering the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, the group that will ultimately decide if Attesa ever gets the approval it needs. Attesa may be a project about cars but they sure don’t understand the concept of backfire. Odd that they haven’t contemplated the same tactics can be used against them. Odd how they have become a laughingstock in Maricopa and a major reason the public has rallied to the cause of Apex and the economic horsepower it would mean for the community. InMaricopa.com, a very influential outlet in the city, has done a commendable job getting the word out.
We hope this story doesn’t go away any time soon. Because this is just the beginning of the personalities and pomp involved.