Pima County Corrections Officer Michael Flaminio was arrested this past week for assaulting an inmate at the Pima County Adult Detention complex back in August. He had been on paid administrative leave since August 15th after the Pima County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) determined that the inmate's complaint warranted further investigation. The case was eventually handed off to the Pima County Attorney's Office (PCAO). The PCAO refused to file felony charges against Flaminio, but did file two misdemeanor assault charges. No details about the specifics of the assault have been released to the public yet.
Since the official findings of the investigation have not been released, we can only speculate as to what happened. Usually when an inmate accuses staff of assault their complaint is quickly dismissed by other staff members that never bother to really look into the merits of the complaint. Prison internal affairs units exist primarily to help officers avoid accountability, so we are always surprised to hear of a correctional officer actually being disciplined for assaulting an inmate. We believe that there must be clear and convincing video evidence in the inmate's favor. That is why a lot of correctional facilities don't make guards wear body cameras and some of them don't even record surveillance footage because if the only evidence is the word of an inmate versus the word of staff, the staff always win. We believe that the internal affairs unit must have seen Flaminio on surveillance or body camera video assaulting an inmate.
According to public records, Michael Flaminio is 36 years old and might have a long history of run-ins with the law. We say "might have" because the online background check website we use lists him as having Arizona addresses as far back as 2013, but it also has him listed as residing in Chiloquin, Oregon as far back as 2002. Chiloquin is not far from Jackson County. That same background check website says that in 2011 one Michael Paul Flaminio was charged with First Degree and Second Degree Sex Abuse in Jackson County, Oregon (case number CJAC 114175FEDEF00001). That service also lists two parole violations with a release date of 7/11/2014 on those charges. There also appears to be another case also from Jackson County, Oregon listed as "Sex Abuse 1 New Attempt" and First Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (case number 1695865), but it does not say which year. Then there is an arrest listed as "2nd Degree Sexual Assault Child/VOP sex Assault" with the arresting agency listed as the Merrill PD in Wisconsin, but that record does not contain a case number, date, disposition, or any other information. We struggled to determine if the man charted in those cases was in fact the same Michael Flaminio that was just arrested in Arizona. When we did a background check for people named Michael Flaminio in Oregon the name Michael Joseph Taylor came up in the results with the same criminal charges listed in his history. The case numbers were the same also. The most likely explanations are that Flaminio was Taylor's co-defendant at one point, that they were the same person, or some error with the background check service applied the same records to two different people. Their address histories intersect at times and they are listed as possible relatives of each other.
According to news reports, Officer Flaminio has been a corrections officer for 12 years. If that is accurate we do not see how he could have been working as a corrections officer in Arizona while facing those types of charges in Oregon. This leads us to believe that either the news or the background check results are inaccurate. We have been using the same paid background check website for years and it is usually pretty accurate. Additionally, GovSalaries has records of Flaminio working for Pima County as far back as 2015 (https://govsalaries.com/flaminio-michael-p-3263455). That is consistent with our timeline that appears to put Flaminio in Oregon during and before 2014. There have been times when information provided by the background check website has not been completely accurate, but that usually is due to it being outdated and not flat out wrong or involving someone else's criminal charges under the wrong name. Since we cannot rule out the possibility that these results could be erroneous we ask that you not use them to make any conclusions regarding the character of Officer Flaminio.
Just to be safe we made an effort to confirm this information with online services offered by Oregon courts. We approached that by doing Google searches for things like "Jackson County, Oregon court records" as well as various combinations of Michael Flaminio's name and the case numbers provided by our background check service, but all we found was proof that one "Michael P Flaminio" earned over $50,000 working as a corrections officer for Pima County in 2018 (https://tucsonstandard.com/stories/545288134-michael-p-flaminio-earns-53-303-working-for-pima-county) and that he lost an appeal of a suspension in 2019 (see PDF uploaded with this report). We typed the case numbers and his name into the only online resource from the state of Oregon that might permit us access to records for free (https://webportal.courts.oregon.gov/portal/) and the only results that came up were for three traffic violations from the early 2000s for someone named Michael Flaminio born in 1968. Those violations were not included in the results from our background check service probably because the year of birth does not match that of the Officer Flaminio that was arrested in Arizona. We also checked the Oregon Department of Corrections (https://docpub.state.or.us/OOS/searchCriteria.jsf) and the Oregon Sex Offender Registry (https://sexoffenders.oregon.gov/Search), but found no hits for anyone named Flaminio. Positive results from those sites would have existed had Flaminio ever been to an Oregon state prison or if he were currently a registered sex offender in the state. This leads us to the conclusion that if Officer Flaminio was ever convicted of a sex crime in Oregon that the records must have been expunged. That would explain why the records are included with the online background check service we used and cannot be corroborated with court websites. The most likely explanation would be that the background check service aggregated the records when they were created, but never removed them even though they were removed from their source. That has been the case with this background check service in the past. A good example would be a mugshot we found of someone with no conviction on record capable of explaining the mugshot, but we knew they were in custody because that was the only explanation for the mugshot.
When we checked Oregon court records we found results for Michael Joseph Taylor. Those results were consistent with the charges listed under Flaminio's name. Those records also list Taylor as being born the same year as Flaminio (https://webportal.courts.oregon.gov/portal/). At this point we started to think that Flaminio is just unlucky enough to be linked to Taylor in public records. Linked because they have shared addresses and appear to be related. That would mean at best that Officer Flaminio is related to a sex offender if not also alleged to be involved in his crimes. Finally, we found a mugshot of Taylor online (https://medfordmugshots.com/profile/2637923/michael-joseph-taylor/) along with charges matching those listed under his and Flaminio's names. The mugshot looks nothing like Flaminio, so now we know that they are in fact different people and that Taylor is the one with those charges on his record permanently. This leaves us with the lingering question of how did Michael Flaminio's name get mixed up with Taylor's case? We do not know the answer to that.
We also learned that Flaminio used to be a licensed security guard in California (https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/1201/G/1528385/7d2b5080ba0c7a2da7172db556e57758). His California license expired in 2008. He was also licensed as an unarmed security guard by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, but their website says that license expired in 2009 (https://webapps.azdps.gov/public_inq/sgrd/ShowLicenseStatus.action). The timing of those licenses does not rule out the possibility of Flaminio being in Oregon in 2010, but it also does not rule out him being in Arizona at the same time. Taylor's address history includes the same Chiloquin address that Flamonio's history does at the same time. Taylor is currently a registered sex offender in California (https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/mobile/Search.aspx). His address history includes the same Santee, California address that Flaminio used when getting his security guard license.
Michael Flaminio may or may not have been involved with Michael Taylor's crimes. If he was accused of them then that accusation was most likely dropped at some point. Despite that, the two of them appear to have been closely linked for quite some time.
"Birds of a feather flock together" - proverb