Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff Still Has Skeletons In The Closet

By | April 20, 2011

UPDATED 5/16/2011: TEMPEPOLICECLOSET.COM Back Up and Running

It came back up sometime last week. After quickly perusing the site for any new information, it appears the 14-year-old kid/SEO engineer we said Ryff hired to try and hide his true self on the internet is named Justin McHood. He also created the rogue Eleanor Holguin website, which depicted her as some sort of crazy goon (the site has since been taken off the web).

by Brian A. Wilkins
4/20/2011 (links and images updated November 14, 2018)

ORIGINAL LINK: http://blog.operation-nation.com/2011/04/20/tempe-police-chief-tom-ryff-still-has-skeletons-in-the-closet.aspx

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We assume Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff is trying his best to bury all remnants of his indiscretions as Lieutenant and now Chief of the Tempe Police. Tempepolicecloset.com was a forum of former and current Tempe City employees; some disgruntled, some very pro-Ryff/Mayor Hugh Hallman. It’s revealing nonetheless.

It appears Ryff has hired an SEO engineer or has some 14-year-old kid setting up all kinds of web presences for him, including tomryff.com (now defunct); Tom Ryff On Twitter; Tom Ryff on Facebook; and Tom Ryff on LinkedIn. It’s unclear if this is because Ryff desires a higher political position, or because he is simply trying to cover his indiscretions and possible criminal acts from being further disseminated.

The domain tempepolicecloset.net was obviously purchased by or on behalf of Ryff, on January 9, 2011. That same week, Ryff joined the aforementioned Facebook, Twitter, et al, based on the dates of his first comments on each. Tempepolicecloset.net takes you to a website which “warns”:

I have been working to lock down the online identities of various clients in order to protect them from web terrorism, and on-line cyber harassment. I believe it’s wrong for people to engage in clandestine schemes directed towards individuals…The entire scope of this project unfortunately cannot be discussed for security purposes, however will involve many phases.

UPDATE: we purchased TempePoliceCloset.net after it expired and re-posted all the content from the old .com

This juvenile attempt to discredit the work of Tempepolicecloset.com is comical, and frankly, desperate. The tapes of Chief Ryff encouraging his subordinate officers to lie on their time cards and to lie to their commanding officers; and of Ryff (who is married) arranging meetings with strippers are well-preserved and easily accessible.

Eleanor Holguin,Terry McClellan and Latisha Morrow

The story of Tempe resident Eleanor Holguin tells you the depths Ryff will sink to in order to flex his candyland muscle. Ms. Holguin’s home was designated a “hazard” by Tempe Police – a label which alerts police that the home’s occupants may be “hostile” – after she complained to the city about the tapes of Ryff encouraging his officers to lie and of Ryff making plans to meet strippers on taxpayer dollars. Holguin told Ryff, via email, he needs to resign, and the “hazard” designation was “pay back” for her doing so, she said.

The story of Ms. Latisha Morrow is even scarier.

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Maricopa County prosecutors and public defenders first destroyed Ms. Morrow’s life in early 2008. To make a really long, tragic story short, Ms. Morrow was sentenced to two years in prison, on February 4, 2008; away from her five children, after public defender Joanne Cuccia changed the verbiage of a plea agreement signed by Ms. Morrow. Yes, the same Joann Cuccia of Maricopa County Detention Officer Adam Stoddard fame…or shall I say infamy.

The plea agreement had stipulated Ms. Morrow would serve a term of probation for possession of a narcotic, with no prior criminal history. “They crossed it out with a pen after I signed it, and wrote in mandatory D.O.C.,” Ms. Morrow said when we interviewed her in February. Cuccia crossed out “probation” and wrote in “D.O.C.” on the plea agreement, after Ms. Morrow had already signed. Maricopa County Commissioner M. Scott McCoy accepted the altered plea and sent Ms. Morrow to prison. This practice of altering signed plea agreements by Maricopa County prosecutors, judges and public defenders apparently happens quite frequently.

Ms. Morrow is a veteran of the U.S. military, and had no prior criminal record before this happened to her. The case is simple: Ms. Morrow went to jail on charges that HER SISTER tried to sell someone FLOUR (or some other fake-cocaine look-alike). She said she had no choice but to sign the plea, as Cuccia threatened ten years in prison; to which Morrow said, “I didn’t want to be away from my children any longer than I had too,” Morrow said.

Ms. Morrow was released from the Arizona Gulag System sometime in February 2009, which is when Ryff and his Tempe Police goons decided they wanted to go ‘coonhunting’.

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Ms. Morrow was the passenger in a car with herself and two other “black” women. The ladies were driving north on 48th Street, between Baseline and Southern, right along the Tempe/Phoenix border. The “driving while black” stop would occur when Tempe cop Patrick Shearan, by his own admission according to the police report, said the women were driving 50 in a 55 zone, thus were “impeding the flow of traffic.” Further, by Shearan’s own admission, he pulled the women over on the 4350 block of McDowell Road, which is well into east Phoenix. In other words, in a state full of slow-driving retirees, these women were pulled over for going 5 miles BELOW the speed limit; and out of the jurisdiction of the arresting “officer.”

“Officer” Shearan seemed to realize he had falsely arrested Ms. Morrow and the others out of jurisdiction; as he continually changed the location which this stop occurred throughout the police report. Shearan proceeded to search the women’s car and found a bottle of prescription medication which belonged to a pastor Ms. Morrow was staying with during the “parole.” Though the cop spoke to the pastor, and the Ministry in which he is affiliated wrote a letter  on Ms. Morrow’s behalf later, Shearan proceeded to drive Ms. Morrow to the Arizona Department of Corrections and dropped her off there. The prison (not jail…the PRISON) held her for the next 10 weeks. Maricopa County says she was held to serve the rest of her parole in prison.

The Tempe Police did not press charges until Ms. Morrow was released from the gulag. Despite the false arrest (out of jurisdiction; no probable cause) and the obvious “driving while black” arrest (which is a viable defense, pursuant to the Arizona Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Jones v. Sterling), Maricopa County judge Marvin Davis sentenced Ms. Morrow to more probation and fines on September 13, 2010.

Ms. Morrow was growing sick of the harassment by Tempe Police and the entirety of malice by them and Maricopa County. She gathered virtually every document she had accumulated throughout this nearly four  year ordeal and filed a post-conviction petition in Maricopa County court last July. Ms. Morrow enlisted the help of Mr. Terry McClellan, a friend of the family. While Morrow and McClellan researched the case, she recalled “Officer” Shearan of Tempe taping the interrogation of her when she was arrested.

Mr. McClellan requested a copy of the tape, he said, from “Jackie, the property lady” for Tempe Police. It was discovered that “Officer” Shearan kept the tape and never booked it into evidence. Shearan called McClellan and personally told him he would supply a copy of the tape, but never did.

Mr. McClellan then wrote a letter to Chief Ryff, requesting his intervention because he was getting the runaround from Shearan. Police must reveal any evidence which is potentially exculpatory to a defendant or petitioner. According to Mr. McClellan, soon thereafter, Tempe Police began camping outside of his home until they ultimately pinned marijuana charges on him in October of last year. McClellan said Ryff tried to make him out to be “crazy” and warned him: “don’t try and help these people.” Mr. McClellan is “white.”

The Maricopa County court record indicates the judicial proceedings for Mr. McClellan are on hold, pending the results of a Rule 11 evaluation (competency to stand trial). Psychologists have been assigned by the Court to determine if Mr. McClellan is crazy…basically. My interviews and talks with him gave me the impression he was scared of what might happen to him for helping Ms. Morrow. He said when he wrote the letter to Ryff, he specifically referred to Ryff as “Chief” because he remembered “Jimmy Olson and Steve Reeves” from the 1950s Superman TV series. The guy is simply an American who truly believed going to the chief of police in Tempe would get due process moving in the right direction; and maybe reprimand Shearan for the Brady violation. Instead, Mr. McClellan is now facing felony charges.

Ryff could have and should have simply supplied the requested information to Mr. McClellan. But Tom Ryff is nothing more than a Tempe High School boy, who’s now the Tempe Police Chief. The tapes of Ryff speak to his integrity, character and level of maturity. Ryff has no dignity and continues to act as police chief of a large suburban city with a major research and sports university in it; which he obviously is not equipped to handle.

Ryff needs to resign immediately and Attorney General Tom Horne needs to investigate all the allegations of improper spending of tax dollars. “Teflon Tom,” as the people on Tempepolicecloset called him, is true to his name. This guy, and his good ‘ol boy network show no shame, and this little internet campaign to hide Ryff’s true self will not work.

Check back later today for the link to the Discussion Board of Tempepolicecloset.com.


Tom Ryff Has Ex-Mesa Cop’s Blog At AZCentral Shut Down (9/1/2010)
Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff Encourages Lying; Cheats On His Wife (updated 4/16/2011)
Wilkins v. Tempe (dismissed pending appeal)
Ryff Admits To CBS 5 It’s His Voice On The Tapes (2/26/2009)
Tempe Cop Whitney Jurjevich Shoots, Kills Retiree’s Dog In Pennsylvania (2/13/2009)

One thought on “Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff Still Has Skeletons In The Closet


    2 corrections: Shearen told Jackie he had tape.1 1/2 months later Jackie called me nearly crying and said she tried everything but he would not give it to her.

    From his vacation Sharen told me “to stay out of it or else.
    On July 11, 2010 I came home to find three individuals leaving my home the back way. I called the cops and they never came. I called to see why not. They said a Sgt would call me on why. I got a call about an hour later and it was a Sgt. Hayes. He told me a cock and bull story that had no bearing on why I had called and when I told him to listen to what I had told the officer early because “your story is totally unlike anything i had told the dispatch. He said he had sent officers and “they pounded and pounded on my door but no one answered” I said bull no one came as I sat by the front door waiting and they never showed” He got angry and threatened me with” You quit helping “those people” or you are going to “have consequences” Then he changed the subject and said I understand you took pictures of individuals watching the houses in the neighbor hoods I said yes and he said to send him a copy. I said I would I did and then he said sent him one. i said I would but it got missed with some papers and ended up in a drawer. they later on Aug. 10 broke down my door and they said they had a warrant but didn’t give me a copy or show me one, they took me to jail but they drank 28 sods in my home, went through my all my files; looked through every pic I had ever taken; left the Morrow file all over the house; erased my hard drive; all the pictures and found the Hayes disc I had made but lost(they erased it) and there was no warrant left at my home. I got back from jail Myself and friend searched every where and found nothing except the mess and the erasures.

    After holding me naked at for nearly 44 minutes refusing to give me a warrant or clothes, I was cuffed me behind my back so I couldn’t cover my genitals while my neighbors watched and cars drove. After 43 minutes naked they yelled “they found something”. When I asked to see it and to sign the inventory they. in one minute got me shorts, t-, and some shoes and whisked me away to jail. I never got a warrant or even knew there was one or what they had taken until Nov. when i showed up voluntarily to court. It Goes to show you “no good deed goes unpunished.” Particularly in Tempe. I have been getting “consequences” ever since. Hayes and Pusharich even circumvented regular dept channels to get the warrant and they didn’t report to the drug division what they thought they had to get Probable Cause instead “took it upon themselves to do the bust without notifying the proper division. Hayes had told his officers they were getting citizen calls about my home but oddly, out of all the calls he said he got he couldn’t identify even one. guess that is what happens when you “go outside proper department channels. Every black who came to visit Latisha while she rented was stopped and arreste


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