Maziar Mafi, the California lawyer who had been variously identified as American Private Police Force’s legal affairs director, president, and a “major” in the company, on Friday severed his ties to the Hardin, MT, jail project until he sees “more concrete action.”
Mafi’s practice, like APPF, is based in Santa Ana, California. As a specialist in personal injury, immigration, and business law, he had seemed an odd choice of counsel for a firm that claims to play a critical role in filling the United States government’s “homeland security needs.”
Mafi told the AP: “For the time, I’m pulling out. I need to see more concrete action before I can be involved.”
And the AP observes that APPF official ‘Captain’ Michael Hilton misrepresented Mafi’s role in the organization:
Hilton, who claims an extensive military background and uses the title “captain,” initially described Mafi as a “major” in American Police Force. He later said Mafi was the company’s president—although Mafi denied the role and said he had no military or security background.
The AP quoted Mafi in the middle of September describing the company was a “as a fledgling spin-off of a major security firm founded in 1984.” Declining to name the firm in question, he said at the time: “It will gradually be more clear as things go along.”
Clearly, that did not happen to Mafi’s satisfaction.
Contacted by TPMmuckraker today, Mafi declined to comment about his relationship with APPF or about whether he’s still confident in his description of APPF’s parent company. APPF spokeswoman Becky Shay has not returned calls for comment.
The APPF project may have done more than damage merely Mafi’s reputation: he also “guaranteed the Sept. 10 purchase of two Mercedes SUVs by Hilton,” the AP reports. Those would be the SUVs that drove into town late last month bearing “City Of Hardin Police Department” decals. A payment on one of the vehicles is now late.