Dear Attorney General Brnovich,
In 2010, legislation transferred control of the formerly top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum to the Arizona Historical Society. The legislature specifically directed that the AHS maintain and operate the museum and its K-12 education programs.
In 2011, the AHS locked the doors, and it has been knowingly defying applicable state statues ever since. The AHS has illegally disposing of state owned property (contents of the museum), and has even been promoting illegal uses of the building. In November of 2014, the AHS submitted four different proposals for alternate use of the building. None of them were compliant with state statutes.
As show by the enclosed correspondence, the AHS apparently assured the OAG they would comply with the statutes, but did not.
Frustrated with AHS defiance, the Legislature prepared and passed budget neutral SB1200 this year with overwhelming bipartisan support. There were only two no votes in the House and three in the Senate. The bill would have transferred all assets of the mineral museum from the AHS to the Arizona Geological Survey, an agency able and willing to operate the museum and the K-12 education programs. Unfortunately, the AHS was successful in lobbying the Governor to veto the bill. Thus, they have now involved (unknowingly, no doubt) Governor Ducey in their illegal activities.
In addition to other harm done to the state, the AHS is depriving 40,000 children a year from a lifetime learning experience. Students and teachers depended heavily on the museum to support the state mandated earth science curriculum.
Richard E. Zimmermann
November 21, 2011 letter from Rench Law
December 14, 2011 letter from Office of the Attorney General (Tucson)
To view the original letter, please click on this image.