The wrong man to kill
Who ordered Don Bolles’s death? The Mob? Big business? The country club set? And what will The Team uncover about them — and crime in the New America?
They have descended on Phoenix like so many avenging angels, determined to demonstrate to the dark side of America that Al Capone wasn’t talking through his snapbrimmed hat when he cautioned his mobster pals that they must never, ever kill a reporter, that the consequent heat would prove unbearable. They call themselves The Team, but they’re not playing games. They intend nothing less than to take the state of Arizona apart—in the name of investigative journalism and in the memory of Donald Bolles, a good minor league reporter who had to die to hit the big time. The Team, in effect, is the response of the U.S. press to the murder of one of its own, and its composition and objectives make it unique in the history of American journalism. Eighteen reporters from 15 different newsrooms, backed by the newly formed Investigative Reporters and Editors Association (IRE), will spend the rest of this year digging in the considerable dirt of the Arizona desert, looking for the scandals every-
one says are there waiting to be exposed, explaining how the sweet life in the sun soured to the point where killing a newspaperman seemed a reasonable thing for someone to do.
It is a solemn undertaking, even if it has provoked some ill-considered bellylaughs and even if The Team itself has more than a whiff of Boy Scout about it. Certainly, many Arizonans and not a few rival reporters deride it as a press posse, as a collection of out-of-state ego-trippers trying to show the hicks how it’s done, as a bunch of dudes on white chargers promising to slay all the local dragons. The imagery is almost too rich: a 20th-century shootout between the white hats from the press and the black hats from the underworld, a kind of deadly earnest update of Shane or even The Fastest Gun A live, in which the soft-spoken but deep-thinking heroes finally got mad at the heavies. The Team, predictably, is sensitive to such comments. It is a remarkable fact that the press, which spends most of its
time poking its nose into and criticizing the affairs of the rest of society, becomes extremely touchy when the tables are turned. But The Team, confident it is doing the right thing, has resigned itself to the gawking and gibes of others, perhaps because it knows it is going to break open some big stories.
Arizona may be the fastest-growing state in the fastest-growing part of the Union, the epitome of the new Sun Belt prosperity, but it is deeply troubled: by organized crime, by corrupt officials, by gargantuan land swindles, by a surfeit of the sleazy types who can always be found scrabbling around the fringes of a blooming community. The desert promises to be fertile ground indeed for the IRE investigation. Besides the rattlesnakes and the lizards and the Mexican laborers and the privileged pensioners of Scottsdale, Joseph Bonanno (alias Joe Bananas, the Mafia socialite of Honor Thy Father celebrity) lives here in muted splendor and oft-
proclaimed retirement. So does Peter Licavoli, one time boss of Detroit’s Purple Gang, now owner of a 72-acre ranch and currently in a spot of rare legal bother because a hot painting turned up in his private collection. So, by police estimate, do more than 200 other men with close Mafia ties, drawn presumably by the superb desert climate and the easy desert money. And so did Don Bolles of the Arizona Republic■, a reporter whose work sufficiently upset the local underworld that last spring someone decided to overrule AÍ Capone’s decree and, as they so graphically put it in Phoenix, “whack him out.”
Bolles, 47, died June 13, succumbing to the injuries he sustained 11 days earlier when a bomb blew up his white Datsun. The bombing, Bolles’s gritty battle to survive the loss of an arm and both legs and massive internal damage, and, finally, his death sent shock waves far beyond the borders of Arizona. President Gerald Ford wired his anguished condolences. Serious criminals everywhere were shaken, even appalled, that anyone could be stupid enough to murder a reporter. Bolles’s Phoenix newspaper colleagues vowed not to rest until the case was solved, to run a story a day until justice was done. His counterparts across the country—the other investigative reporters who felt a sudden chill, who drove cars and who worked, often alone, to expose crime and corruption—resolved to do something, to respond, to rally round their own flag. Thus the IRE investigative team was born, and its leader, Robert Greene, twice a Pulitzer Prize winner for Long Island’s Newsday, was able to declare: “We think it is a reasonable and logical response to the assassination of a reporter, keeping in mind that we haven’t had a reporter killed while doing his job for a long, long time.”
By all accounts a decent man and a thorough reporter who owed more of his success to his tenacity than his eloquence at the typewriter. Bolles was lured to his death by the promise of a scoop. An informant, identified in Bolles’s notes as a local thug named John Harvey Adamson, invited the reporter to a late-morning rendezvous in a modest downtown hotel. There the informant promised to turn over evidence linking Senator Barry Goldwater, Congressman Sam Steiger and former Republican state chairman Harry Rosenzweig to a massive land scandal. (Arizona has spawned so many land scandals in the past decade that no one really knows how much money has been ripped off, other than to guess that it’s somewhere between $500 million and one billion dollars. To date, no swindle involving the aforementioned politicians has been uncovered. Such a story, however, would be a reporter’s dream, a cinch for the Pulitzer all U.S. reporters covet.)
When Bolles’s informant failed to show up at the Clarendon House Hotel that morning, the reporter returned to his car in the hotel lot. He was on his way to the press
club, where he was scheduled to chair a meeting of the ethics committee of Sigma Delta Chi, the journalists’ fraternity. He started his car and was beginning to drive away when the bomb was detonated by a remote-control radio device. Horrified witnesses rushed forward to comfort him as he sprawled on the pavement. Tourniquets were hastily applied to his shattered limbs. “Help me . . .,” he pleaded. “Help me...” Then: “They finally got me ... The Mafia. Emprise. Find John Adamson.” At that point, Bolles passed out. He never spoke again, but from his hospital bed was able to nod confirmation that he had been expecting to meet Adamson at the hotel.
On October 18, Adamson, 32, a selfemployed greyhound breeder who spent a lot of his time in seedy bars and in whose apartment police found, among other things, a bomb-maker’s instructional pamphlet entitled The Anarchist’s Cookbook, went on trial, charged with Bolles’s murder. The prosecution alleged the killing had been bought and paid for by unknown persons, a contract hit. Three days later, on October 21, Adamson’s lawyers won their plea for a mistrial. Pretrial publicity, chiefly in the Republic, Bolles’s own newspaper, had made it impossible to
empanel an unprejudiced jury.
The Mafia, of course, needs no introduction, despite frequent claims that no such organization exists. Emprise, on the other hand, probably does. It is the former but still widely used name of a Buffalo-based conglomerate controlled by the Jacobs brothers, Max and Jeremy. The Jacobs preside over a vast network of interlocking companies, many of them involved in professional sports. If you go to a sporting event in North America, chances are that your hot dogs, peanuts and soft drinks are provided by the Jacobs. But the Jacobs have long since moved beyond mere catering: they control racetracks, have dabbled in Las Vegas casinos, own the Boston Bruins, have lent money to many troubled pro franchises. Emprise (the name was chosen by the Jacobs’ father, who took it from the words “empire” and “enterprise”) was reorganized after a 1972 conviction for conspiring to conceal ownership of the Frontier Hotel and casino. It is now a subsidiary of a new company, Sportsystems Corp., of which yet another arm is Ramcorp Metals Inc. Ramcorp, in association with a family named Funk, controls all six greyhound tracks in Arizona. The octopus that stretches out from
Buffalo has been linked in federal testimony to organized crime, and was the subject of a series of articles by Bolles, who was unhappy with its grip on Arizona racing. Bolles frequently wrote tough pieces about the influx of mobsters, too. As an investigative reporter, he did not make trivial enemies.
Almost as surprising as the fact that his enemies would dare to kill him, knowing as they must have that a midday bomb attack on a reporter would cause a tremendous uproar, is the fact that late last year Bolles had given up his crusade against criminals in favor of more conventional reporting on politics. Why, then, would organized crime kill him? Perhaps it didn’t. One theory put forward by police and press alike is that Bolles was the victim of a new breed of crook, the country-club swindler. Another is that someone was merely trying to do someone else a favor, and hopelessly misjudged the consequences. A third suggests Bolles was a victim of delayed-action revenge, that one of his enemies had simply waited long enough to obscure the motive.
In any event, Bolles is dead. The day his car blew up was his wedding anniversary. He and his wife, Rosalie, had planned to celebrate by going out to dinner and taking in a movie that had just opened. The movie was zl// The President’s Men, Hollywood’s version of the most celebrated piece of investigative journalism of the age. Doubtless Bolles would have enjoyed it. Now, America being what it is, Hollywood will probably make a film of Bolles’s life and death, particularly if The Team succeeds in making sensational disclosures, as it very well may. As Team member Mike Wendland of The Detroit News put it: “Why am I here? I’m here for the story. What a story! It’s the first time anyone’s ever had the people and the time and the money to go after a story and follow it through, wherever it leads.”
Maricopa County, which embraces Phoenix and its Scottsdale and Tempe suburbs, sits in what local boosters like to call the Valley of the Sun. It is the kind of place where plaques designate historic sites dating all the way back to the early 1900s. Three generations of residency qualifies a family for the description “old.” For example, the Goldwater family, which owns department stores and which tried to send a member to the White House in 1964, is considered old. So is the Rosenzweig family, which is in jewelry. But there are new families in “the Valley” now—families whose presence guarantees that before long Maricopa County will join -Cook (Chicago), Clark (Las Vegas), Dade (Miami) and Wayne (Detroit) on the U.S. notoriety list. These new families don’t deal in dry goods or precious gems. They deal in services: drugs, illegal gambling, loan sharking, prostitution. Where the money is.
WilliamSmitherman, the U.S. attorney
in Arizona, says his state has become perhaps the most important conduit for heroin entering the country. So-called “Mexican brown” cascades across the Nogales frontier, often in light aircraft that skim the desert to avoid radar surveillance. Sometimes, the importers dynamite their own planes after just one trip to eradicate potential evidence. Sometimes, the “new families” pay their Mexican suppliers not with gringo dollars but with Yankee firearms. Most of the heroin finds its way into the bloodstreams of addicts in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, etc., but some of it stays in Arizona. “We have at least 20,000 junkies right here,” Smitherman says indignantly. “Drugs is the dirtiest business there is, but it is one of the most profitable.” Phoenix is a profit-conscious town. Card games, crap games and bookmakers are easy to find in Maricopa County. So are girls. A Phoenix “underground” newspaper, sold in vending boxes at virtually every downtown corner, carries ads for more than 50 “out-call massage/escort” operations which, police say, are centrally controlled by an organization known as “the Service.” But dope, gambling and girls are nickel-and-dime stuff alongside land fraud. Arizona appears to be in a class by itself when it comes to crooked real estate development.
Don Harris is the Maricopa County attorney, a tough 39-year-old refugee from Brooklyn who does a lot of Alan Eaglesontype law work for World Hockey Association players (Phoenix has a WHA franchise). Harris is also the man who inherited responsibility for the Adamson prosecution in the Bolles case. In August, Harris was “borrowed” from his private practice and appointed interim county attorney after the local power structure, led by the papers and a booster group called the Phoenix Forty, decided his predecessor was, at best, incompetent. Because he “can’t afford the pay cut,” Harris says he has no interest in seeking the job permanently and will step aside at the end of the year. In the meantime, he has been enjoying himself immensely, getting longstalled investigations moving, indicting people who used to think they were untouchable. “How much money has been grabbed in land swindles?” he repeats. “Maybe a billion dollars, maybe a little less. Anyway it’s big. And you can understand it. Look, people living in the big cities, in the north, in the east, they’re used to paying thousands of dollars for a building lot 20 feet wide. Then they hear they can buy, say, 40 acres for $7,000. And they think: ‘Forty acres? For only $7,000? Where do I sign?’ And of course they do sign. The trouble is, the land is probably worthless, miles from anywhere, years from development. And quite often the promoters don’t even have clear title to the land they’re selling. Or they sell the same plots over and over. It’s not hard, you know, if you’ve got some officials in your pocket.”
According to Harris, the hundreds of crooked land operations that have plagued Phoenix and given Arizona such a bad name during the past decade could never have happened without the connivance of public officials and local “legitimate” businessmen. “I’m talking about these whitecollar criminals,” he says. “The guys in government who look the other way, in exchange for a piece of the action, when a land deal is being teed up. The bankers who accept sales contracts at a discount, even though they know something stinks ... These people have the nerve to tell me I don’t understand, that it’sjust a question of business.” He snorts, then brightens. “Not all land companies are crooked, mind you. And not all Arizona land being offered is worthless. I buy land myself. Ï get some of my hockey players to buy it.” When I asked him if he could be specific about the relationship between organized crime and the Arizona establishment, Harris chose his words carefully: “I believe this: there have been formal alliances between some of our most respected families and the criminal element. It has been a case of new money flooding in and old money fighting to hold on to its position, to its power.” Obviously, an investigative reporter, a Don Bolles, would have had no shortage of material to work with in such a county as Maricopa.
Woodward and Bernstein and Water-
gate aside, investigative journalism is not very glamorous. It is usually mind-numbing work, poring over documents, searching titles, cross-checking names and dates and figures, keeping lonely vigil and latenight appointments, often without publishable results. It is a far cry from jet-set journalism, hobnobbing with Henry Kissinger, having cocktails with Raquel Welch, covering overseas diplomatic conferences, or even writing a local column. And, once again, Woodward and Bernstein aside, the men and women who practise this type of journalism are not very glamorous, either. By tradition they tend to be loners—secretive, suspicious, fiercely competitive. They are often misunderstood and occasionally even disliked by their more conventional newsroom colleagues, who grumble about their irregular hours and intermittent production. There are frustrations in the job: legal barriers, elusive sources, bad information, over-cautious editors, indifferent readers.
According to his colleagues, it was frustration, not fear, that left Don Bolles weary after more than a decade of digging and disclosure. Bolles’s friend and colleague, Arizona Republic columnist Paul Dean (he was best man at Bolles’s wedding), confirms that Bolles was exasperated by Phoenix, fed up because of the community’s lack of response to his stories about the influx of mobsters, about Emprise and its greyhound monopoly, about land fraud,
about conflicts-of-interest in the public service. “For years he’d been doing stories saying, ‘Hey, baby, they’re here’ but nobody would listen,” Dean recalled, sitting in his cubicle in the Republic's newsroom. “Don just got tired of it, wanted a change.” Bolles asked to be reassigned from the crime beat to politics, and from late’75 until he died he concentrated on the state capitol. It was certainly more civilized work, and considerably safer. Bolles no longer put Scotch tape across the hood of his car as a security measure. He no longer worried about the safety of Rosalie and their seven kids. Threats on his life had been commonplace in the old days. (When Dean and Bolles were still collaborating on investigative stories, Dean once received a piece of paper in the mail. It carried instructions suggesting that if Dean wanted to learn his fate he should put the paper under the kitchen tap and turn on the water; he did—and the paper burst into flame.) Bolles was prudent enough to take such warnings seriously, although once he moved to the political beat he was able to relax. He knew he had nothing to fear from state senators, legislative aides, lobbyists. But old habits die hard, and all reporters love good stories. So when someone promised him a blockbuster about land fraud and prominent politicians, Bolles took the bait like a hungry trout.
With its rust-colored pile carpeting and
its panoramic view of the city and the mountains, purple in the distance. Suite 1939 of the Adams Hotel makes an unlikely newsroom. The regular furniture has been removed and now there are filing cabinets, a half-dozen desks, typewriters, tape recorders, telephones with direct outside lines, copy paper, even a secretary who files and transcribes interview tapes. There is a coffee maker in one bathroom, a stack of supplies in the other. For the rest of the year. Suite 1939 will be headquarters for The Team, the nerve centre for a neverbefore-tried exercise in cooperative journalism. Here Bob Greene of Newsday will supervise some of the best reporters in America, who have given themselves 90 days to complete what had been Bolles’s life work—the exposure of the links widely believed to exist among organized criminals, public officials, members of the local business establishment, and certain Arizona politicians. Greene, a heavyset, tough-looking man with short grey hair and the hard eyes of a career skeptic, is already admired by his new associates. (“I’d work with that guy any place, any time,” says Mike Wendland, 30, himself one of the best young reporters in the United States and the author of an upcoming book on the murder of ex-Teamsters’ boss Jimmy Hoffa. “Bob Greene’s a complete pro.”)
It is early on the third day of The Team’s mission, and Greene is courteously discussing its origins and objectives with a visitor. (The following day, after reporters from the U.S. television networks, newsmagazines and nonparticipating papers began cluttering up Suite 1939, The Team put its quarters off-limits—an understandable decision if it hoped to get any work done.) Greene is miffed at The New York Times, which the day before had carried a faintly sneering story on his operation, suggesting among other things that local journalists were hostile to the outsiders, that Phoenix editors were instructing their own staffs not to cooperate. “Bob Early [city editor of the Arizona Republic] was right here in the room when I gave that interview to the Times," Greene bristles. “Early and the Republic are giving us total cooperation. They’ve got a reporter on The Team. We have complete access to their morgue.” Greene pours himself another cup of coffee, and says: “Everybody seems to think we’re here to solve the Bolles case. Well, we’re not. We’re here to look at the whole thing, the atmosphere here in Arizona. The land scams, the dope trade, organized crime, crooked politicians, anything we turn up . . . Already our investigation is spilling over into New Mexico, into Mexico itself... My problem is that right now we’ve got so much good information that I could use about 25 more people.”
As Greene outlines it, when The Team has finished its inquiries it will prepare a jointly written series of articles which will be offered first to the papers helping un-
derwrite the investigation and then, a few hours later, to any other newspaper that wants to print them. “Say a Toronto paper picks it up. Well, we’d break out some leads for local sidebars, Toronto people who got taken in a land scam, for example, and they could chase after them.” (Interestingly, although Arizona land companies have promoted heavily in Canada, the Canadian consulate-general in Los Angeles, which is responsible for the state of Arizona, says it has never had a complaint from land-swindle victims. This means either that Canadians have been lucky in their purchases or they prefer to lick their wounds in silence.)
On hand initially to help with the investigation, beside Greene and Wendland, were a couple of reporters from Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star, John Winters of the Republic and Myrta Pulliam of the Indianapolis Star, the only woman member of The Team. (Pulliam is the granddaughter of the late publisher of the two Phoenix newspapers, the Republic and the evening Gazette; she knows Arizona well, and offers valuable entrées into Phoenix society. The managing editor of the Indianapolis Star, Robert P. Early, is the father of the Phoenix city editor, Bob.) Other reporters—from The Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Kansas City Star, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, San Jose Mercury, etc.— will move in and out of Arizona for varying lengths of time between now and January. Even Jack Anderson, the Washington columnist, is sending a member of his staff to help.
Not all big U.S. newspapers like the idea of collective reporting. The New York Times, for example, has said that if it feels there’s a story worth doing it has the resources to undertake it itself. Indeed, the Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times have all had reporters digging in Arizona—but not as part of any team. The Chicago Tribune, on the other hand, which persists in calling itself the “world's greatest newspaper” despite impressive evidence to the contrary, saluted The Team in an editorial which said, in part: “The press of the United States will not passively sit out the killing of one of its own for getting too close to news that criminal elements want hidden ... It will not be intimidated.”
Certainly there is no sign that the reporters camped in the Adams are intimidated. When British journalist Jonathan Steel of The Guardian asked Greene about security for The Team, Greene shrugged off the question with a bitter little joke: “Well, the door is open. Ifyou wanted to come in and spray us with a machinegun 1 guess there’s not much we could do about it... It’s not a bravado thing. We genuinely feel the risk is small.” Bravado aside. The Team does indulge in a tiresome idiom that owes much both to the underworld and television policemen. Swindles are “scams”. Events don't occur but rather “go down.” The modus operandi of the Team member,
working away from Suite 1939, was described as “deep and dirty.” But the way they talk is unimportant. The way they work is—and they work like beavers. So have the Phoenix papers, ever since Bolles’s car was bombed. Unfortunately, local papers let their grief and their enthusiasm overcome their professionalism, which is why John Harvey Adamson was bound to win his plea for a mistrial last month.
North Central Avenue, former stomping ground of Adamson, is in sharp contrast to the posh, palm-shaded Arizona Club, where the new and the old money
mingle in the afternoons to drink and play gin rummy and talk a little business. North Central is almost a textbook example of strip/sprawl development—an area where 20-storey office buildings sit rosy cheek by sagging jowl alongside ramshackle taco joints and seedy bars. Here, in pubs like the Ivanhoe and Durant’s and L’Continental (no one noticed the misspelling until after the sign was finished, at which point the owner shrugged and let it stand as an example of desert chic), Adamson and his cronies from the racetrack world spent their days and nights, dreaming of big scores and knocking back Coors beer and bar scotch. The bars are depressingly simi-
lar: Muzak, weary cocktail waitresses who’ve heard it all before, outsized television screens for the football games everyone bets on, indifferent food. When he was first hauled in for questioning after the bombing, but before Bolles succumbed, Adamson could not be held. True, he was wanted on a couple of minor counts of defrauding innkeepers; but he was able to post á bond and walk out. He proceeded to the Ivanhoe and killed the rest of the afternoon making phone calls, drinking, chatting calmly with a bunch of good ol’ boys. Bolles’s colleagues from the Republic tagged along, wide-eyed, and watched as Adamson had his white shoes sent out to be cleaned and a manicurist brought in to do his nails.
That was enough for the reporters, who promptly labeled the Ivanhoe as a hangout for big-time criminals, maybe even the Number One Mafia drinking spot in the whole southwest. Frankly, no self-respecting crook would go near the place, something even its owner concedes. “You’da thought Joe Bananas himself came in here every day for lunch,” complained Tom Bishop, a retired policeman from the San Bernardino sheriffs office. “You wouldn’t believe what that paper did to me. Every day it was the Ivanhoe this, the Ivanhoe that. Hey. I can’t control who comes in here, as long as they behave themselves and settle their tab. But I’ll tell you one thing. This place has never been a mob hangout.”
Maybe not, but North Central Avenue has seen its share of mob activity. Before Bolles’s death there had been at least nine other gangland-style murders in Phoenix. Not one of them has been solved. The most recent took place just a few doors away from the Ivanhoe in an office building. Edward Lazar, 40, the president of a mortgage company (controlled by a man named by county attorney Harris as the king of the land-fraud business, one Ned (The Godfather) Warren Sr.) was found with five bullets in him. One in the head, four in the chest—just like in the movies. Lazar was killed the day before he was to testify before a grand jury looking into land frauds. Warren, recently indicted by
Harris on land-fraud charges, was an occasional companion of John Harvey Adamson, as well as a favorite target of Don Bolles. Even the police discount the idea that Warren might have been implicated in the Bolles killing, but the chain of acquaintanceships is illustrative of just how small a town Phoenix is, even if it does boast a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million. People tend to know one another, and to know one another’s business.
The Team’s business in Arizona is well known, too, and not everyone likes it. Although the Republic and the Gazette are supporting the IRE investigation, it is ob-
vious that some employees of the Pulliam press are unhappy. Of course, if, as seems likely, the pros from out-of-state come up with good material, the local papers are going to look foolish. “I wish ’em luck,” says columnist Dean, who devoted the entire summer to writing about the Bolles case. “But you know, we’ve been working on these stories for quite a few years, and we’ve got some good people on this staff.” Dean’s comments were underlined by Harris, who says flatly that he doesn’t think very highly of the Phoenix papers (he even says he thought Bolles’s work was “very mediocre, although if you say that around here these days you’ll be lynched”) but
who is not impressed by The Team project either. “These reporters who are coming in here from the big cities to tell us how evil we are make me laugh. What about their own cities? Are they so perfect?”
Some Phoenix citizens are upset that The Team is being partly funded by local firms. They suspect political motivation— it’s an election year. Certainly, the lion’s share of the investigation costs—estimated by IRE president Ron Koziol of The Chicago Tribune to be about $120,000, including travel and salaries for the reporters—is coming from the reporters’ own papers. But some of the cost, perhaps $40,000, is being raised by IRE from corporate and individual supporters. A Scottsdale company kicked in $5,000; the Association of Arizona Industries is canvassing its members, hoping to raise $35,000. “Every single grant,” Koziol says, “comes with no strings attached. We’ve made that very clear. No special briefings, no progress reports. They can spend 15 cents and buy a paper like everyone else.” Koziol is the first president of IRE, which was formed shortly before Bolles died and which now has 250 members across the United States. The organization, he says, represents an attempt by investigative writers to make contact with one another, to share ideas (if not stories) and to cooperate occasionally. Its inaugural meeting was held in Indianapolis, and Bolles was to have attended. After the bombing, IRE decided to send Greene out to Phoenix to see whether there was a role the new organization could usefully play. There was, he reported. It could finish Bolles’s work.
But the Bolles case touched more than journalistic nerves. A few days after he died the Arizona legislature, almost in shame, rushed through a bill that would begin dismantling the Emprise/ Rameo rp/Sportsystems monopoly on greyhound racing. The Phoenix Forty, named after the number of prominent citizens who got together 18 months ago to see what could be done about the city’s problems, including crime and transportation, redoubled its efforts. Jim Simmons, president of the United Bank of Arizona and until recently chairman of the Forty’s anticrime committee, says he thinks some progress has been made, that the state can defeat criminal elements and preserve (or restore) its reputation as a good and safe place to live. He even thinks The Team might do some good, although “I believe we really have to solve our own problems.” Simmons smiles from behind his outsized desk. “I still think this is a pretty fine community. We’re not as bad as Chicago or New York. When I go to those cities I’m scared stiff.” He pauses, reflects a moment and then says; “But you know, that fellow who was shot not long ago, the mortgage man, Lazar. You know, that happened just down the street from here.” Jim Simmons, well over six feet, young, tough, out of Texas and Harvard, shudders at the thought.