Local News

More Stilo Dollars Bankrolled the Current Tusayan Town Council, but the records have vanished

June 9, 2011

Very shortly, the Tusayan Town Council will be deciding if developer Stilo will make a bundle of money by approving a massive land use plan that puts off affordable housing for two years.

As the council makes that call, it’s important to note who wrote the checks that got them elected. Unfortunately some key financial disclosure records are missing.

During last year’s council elections it was pretty clear from the candidates’ financial disclosure statements that the Mayor and Council members got most if not all of their funding from Stilo allies. The Halvorson clan, Stilo’s partner, wrote the biggest checks. Contributors also included employees at Policy Development Group, the public relations company hired by Stilo.

What’s been lost in the shuffle is that fact that Stilo was also funding Tusayan Moving Forward, a political organization that tirelessly bashed opposition candidates Clarinda Vail, Ann Wren and Pete Shearer.  By law, Tusayan Moving Forward could not have any connection to any candidates, but the organization drank from the Stilo financial trough. The disclaimer at the bottom of the organization’s website said major funding was provided by Medallion Ventures, a real estate holding company operated by Stilo honchos Tom DePaolo and Federico Pellicioli. Here is a link to their Corporation Commission filing. Here is a link to Stilo’s filing with the Arizona Secretary of State. Both companies have the same address.

A political action committee that attempts to influence an election is supposed to file a statement of organization and financial disclosure paperwork. That paperwork is missing. If it was filed, it is no longer on file with the Town of Tusayan. The new Town Manager attempted to find these documents and they cannot be located. We checked with the Coconino County Recorder’s Office just in case Tusayan Moving Forward filed with the County Recorder’s Office. They didn’t.

The only conclusions to draw are that Tusayan Moving Forward didn’t file its paperwork or the paperwork has been lost. One thing is clear; two entities that stand to make a bundle on the Stilo land use plan spent a bundle on a Town Council election to get the people they wanted. The Halvorson Clan and Policy Development Group gave thousands to the candidates who won the election. Stilo spent money to bash three candidates who lost. The problem is we can’t find out how much Stilo spent or how they spent it because the records that would give you that information are lost.