Scottsdale block party promoter not guilty of charges

The organizer of a weekend block party last fall in downtown Scottsdale’s entertainment district was found not guilty of criminal liability in connection with noise complaints.

A city judge ruled that Steve LeVine of Steve LeVine Entertainment did not knowingly disturb the peace when he staged the event.

The Sound Wave Block Party took place Sept. 21 on Indian Plaza between Buckboard and Saddlebag Trail, and Buckboard between Camelback Road and Shoeman Lane. It also included Maya Day + Nightclub and the W Scottsdale.

Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark said his department received 37 noise complaints connected to the event. Valerie Bennett, Catherine Lauderbach and Rick Mauch were among residents who complained about the event, which featured outdoor live DJ music.

LeVine received a special-event permit from the city for the block party. Developer Shawn Yari, who owns Maya Day + Nightclub and the W Scottsdale, submitted a letter to the city authorizing the event.

After the Police Department’s investigation, City Prosecutor Caron Close filed a criminal complaint against LeVine, alleging “intentionally or knowingly” disturbing the “peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person by making or causing to be made unreasonable noise” in violation of state statute, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The complaint was filed Oct. 3 in Scottsdale City Court on behalf of Bennett, Lauderbach and Mauch, and City Judge Statia Hendrix issued her verdict July 16.

According to the ruling, because the “defendant and his staff were responsive to incoming complaints,” the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that LeVine “intentionally or knowingly” disturbed the peace.

Bennett said she was “disappointed” by the verdict. She lives several blocks north of the entertainment district and said the DJ “sounded like it was in our backyard,” and the bass shook the walls and windows in her home.

Craig Lion, LeVine’s attorney, said his client “felt he was being treated unfairly and he had his day in court.”

“Mr. LeVine is the most professional and responsible event promoter in the state of Arizona and apparently the court agreed by its ruling,” he said.

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