R3's investigators have experience in law enforcement, journalism, corrections, bankruptcy law and behavioral health. The depth and diversity of our staff's skills and talent enables us to better serve clients.
Rich Robertson, CLI, is the founder and owner of R3 Investigations and he is a Certified Legal Investigator. Mr. Robertson was a print and broadcast journalist in Arizona for 28 years before becoming a state-licensed private investigator in 2000. Since then, he has been the lead investigator on hundreds of complex criminal and civil cases, including numerous death penalty cases at the trial, sentencing and post-conviction levels. He manages cases in which a team of investigators is needed to accomplish assigned tasks.
He is a frequent speaker and instructor on investigative topics, and he has conducted CLE programs for attorneys. His expertise is public records. He has testified as an expert on private investigations. To become designated as a Certified Legal Investigator in 2012, he underwent a rigorous written and oral testing process in civil and criminal law, administered by the professional certification board of the National Association of Legal Investigators.
Mr. Robertson's journalism experience included two decades with The Arizona Republic (1974-1995), where he was on the investigative team (1983-85 and 1990-95), and city editor (1985-1990). He was the editor of three Republic investigative projects that were finalists for Pulitzer prizes. He was also an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter for KPHO-TV (Channel 5) and KPNX-TV (Channel 12) (1995-2000).
He is a past-president of the Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators; editor of The Legal Investigator , a quarterly educational journal published by the National Association of Legal Investigators; active in the Justice Project, which re-evaluates criminal cases for proof of actual innocence or miscarriage of justice; is an associate member of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice; is a past president and member of the board of directors of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona; and was Arizona public records chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists for more than 10 years.
His background is in behavioral health that includes behavioral profiling and violence risk assessments. Mr. Rozalewycz graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in psychology and minors in both sociology and criminal justice. He has been a psychiatric/suicide intervention counselor; behavioral health case manager; crisis management supervisor; and outpatient clinic manager. His duties have included evaluation of patients referred for court-mandated psychiatric treatment.
As a crisis supervisor for Arizona's Regional Behavioral Health Authority, Mr. Rozalewycz had clinical and administrative oversight of a staff of 12 counselors. He was responsible for the management of mobile crisis response teams, transportation units and psychiatric urgent care centers, and for educating local law enforcement agencies on the utilization of the crisis system. As an outpatient clinic manager, he oversaw the services of 1,600 psychiatric patients. In this capacity, he also supervised 60 clinical and administrative staff, including psychiatrists and nurses.
Rubin spent most of his career as the senior reporter at Phoenix
New Times, where he became one of Arizona’s most decorated and
respected journalists. During his 27 years at New Times,
he was selected as
He was the six-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Don Bolles Award for investigative reporting. Rubin’s stories on legal issues twice earned him the Silver Gavel Award, which is the American Bar Association’s highest honor for journalists. In 1996, he was selected for the State Bar of Arizona’s Award of Appreciation—the first journalist ever to receive that honor.
Rubin also won myriad national awards, from such organizations as the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), and the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association for exposing a $500 million insurance fraud he dubbed the “rent-a-patient” scandal. A proud graduate of the University of Arizona, he was also voted into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame.
Ms. Shapiro was an attorney for ten years. Her practice areas were
law, creditor and debtor rights, civil litigation and appeals. She
represented small businesses and individuals in complex bankruptcy
cases and in workout negotiations with creditors in matters involving
dischargeability issues, exemption claims, preferences, fraudulent
transfers and lien validity.
Ms. Shapiro also has experience in television broadcasting, print media and public relations. She served as a reporter and producer of KAET-TV’s Horizon (Channel 8 weekday public affairs program); editor and staff writer with Jewish News of Greater Phoenix; and was a media relations specialist for Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.
Christina Dougherty has been a licensed private investigator since 2002, handling criminal, civil and corporate investigations. In addition to investigations, she is responsible for managing business operations.
Ms. Dougherty is an Arizona native. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in 1997. She is a member of the Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators and the former advertising coordinator of The Legal Investigator, a quarterly educational magazine published by the National Association of Legal Investigators.
Gary Phelps joined R3 Investigations in September 2007 after 42 years in law enforcement. In addition to conducting investigations, he is frequently asked to evaluate cases and testify as an expert on matters involving police investigations, use of force and prison-related operations.
His law enforcement career began with the City of Tucson in 1964. Mr. Phelps served 25 years with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, retiring as Deputy Director. During his tenure, he directed the department's criminal investigations (1982-1984). He was also the SWAT team commander (1974-1977) and directed the department's criminal intelligence unit (1978-1982). Mr. Phelps developed the Governor Protection Detail and was a founding member of the National Governors Security Association. Mr. Phelps received meritorious service awards from both the Tucson Police Department and DPS.
After leaving DPS, he served as Gov. Fife Symington's law enforcement liaison. He then served 14 years as Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections. There, Mr. Phelps directed all criminal investigations. He also worked with the FBI and the City of Phoenix on joint gang task forces.
Mr. Phelps has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona and, in addition to all of the basic law enforcement in-service training, he has received training from the FBI, DEA, IACP, the Police Foundation, U.S. Attorney's Office, University of Southern California, University of Chicago and Arizona State University.
Mr. Phelps is a charter member of the National Criminal Justice Association and past president of both the Arizona Law Enforcement Alliance and the Arizona Administrators Association. He has served on the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Criminal Investigation and Organized Crime Committees. He was a member of the National Alliance of Drug Enforcement Agencies and worked on a model narcotic law project for the National Governors Association. He also has served on the board of directors for the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN).
Lew Ruggiero joined R3 Investigations in January 2007, after nearly 40 years in radio and television. As an investigator, he has provided in-depth investigations in criminal and civil matters, including a multi-million-dollar federal fraud case.
For almost 27 of those nearly 40 years in broadcasting, Mr. Ruggiero served as an assignment editor, field producer, and general assignment reporter for KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. He retired from KPNX in June 2006.
His major investigative work for R3 Investigations to date: Serving as a defense investigator for one of several defendants under federal indictment for an alleged complex nationwide multi-million-dollar business opportunity fraud scheme. This case involved reviewing several hundred thousand pages of discovery documents and conducting scores of personal and phone interviews around Arizona and the nation.
Mr. Ruggiero has handled both defense and mitigation work in sexual assault, aggravated assault, and Arizona death penalty cases. He has also done civil plaintiff's investigative work in lawsuits filed against the state prison system's contract food provider, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the Phoenix Police Department.
As a television journalist in 1982, he helped produce KPNX's Rocky Mountain Emmy Award-winning series "He Told Me Not to Tell," one of the first in-depth television news explorations of child sexual abuse. He won several awards during his TV career from both the Arizona Press Club and the Arizona Associated Press for his coverage of various social, environmental, and political issues around the state.
In 1996, the Valley of the Sun Society of Professional Journalists awarded Mr. Ruggiero its Sunshine Award for his work on behalf of the First Amendment in trying to keep Arizona public records open and available to the public.
While continuing to work full time as a night-side reporter at KPNX-TV, Mr. Ruggiero returned to graduate school in 1999, eventually earning a master's degree in mass communications from Arizona State University in May 2004. A year later, Northern Arizona University's School of Communications named Ruggiero its Robert Eunson Distinguished Journalism Lecturer.
A graduate school paper on civic journalism that he co-authored with ASU professor John Craft, "An Objective Measure of the Influence of Public Journalism: Framing a Yardstick for Connections Sought by a New Journalistic Paradigm-A Pilot Study," was published in the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal in 2001.
Members of our staff are associated with these organizations:
- Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators
- National Association of Legal Investigators
- National Council of Investigation and Security Services
- Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (allied member)
- The Arizona Justice Project
- Arizona Death Penalty Forum
- International Intelligence Network