Blowing His Cool

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is trying to fire another deputy who alleges wrongdoing in the sheriff's office

"I would request, your Honor, you keep everything confidential until this matter can be heard, because it's an obvious attempt, it looks like to me, to make something public that should not be made public," Cavanagh answered.

"Well, in view of the fact I'm no longer on the case, counsel, I'm not sure I have the authority to order it sealed. . . . It seems at this point . . . that you've kind of shot yourself in the foot," said Foreman.

Foreman denied Cavanagh's request to keep the letter secret, and put it in the public file. He told Cavanagh to save his arguments for the new judge. Attorneys in the case expected a hearing to be set later this week.

"The following is a time line, which shows a pattern of illegal activity including misuse of County Funds, harassment, retaliation and an effort to create a false, criminal charge against an ex-County employee, who has announced his candidacy for the Office of Sheriff," reads Cool's letter.

Cool could not be reached for comment.
But he writes that in July 1997, his wife ran into Darren Bearup, one of Tom Bearup's sons, at Wal-Mart where Darren worked. At that time, Tom Bearup was still one of Arpaio's aides. He has since left the sheriff's office and has announced his intention to run for sheriff in the 2000 election.

Cool says that Darren told his wife that Darren's brother, Patrick, was keeping explosive materials under his bed.

Darren Bearup today tells New Times that this isn't true. He says he talked to Marie Cool about the Bearup brothers' landscaping business, and he mentioned that Patrick had bought a large amount of ammonium sulfate at that Wal-Mart. Darren remembers Marie asking whether that was the substance used in the Oklahoma bombing. He says he doesn't understand how the Cools interpreted this to mean that his brother had explosive materials under his bed.

Cool writes that he notified the ATF about the possible explosives, but heard nothing from ATF or anyone else until December 1997.

By then, Tom Bearup had left the sheriff's office and had made public his concerns about misuse of money in the sheriff's office and Sheriff Arpaio's deep "paranoia" ("Doubting Thomas," November 6, 1997).

Cool says Hendershott came into his office in December and asked whether Cool was still a member of Bearup's church and whether he had ever heard Bearup say that Hendershott was "Satan" or that Bearup wanted Hendershott dead. Cool said no. Hendershott asked if Bearup had asked others to pray for him because of political attacks by the sheriff's office. Cool says he denied that Bearup had said anything about such attacks, but considering the political climate in the office, Cool says he assumed that Bearup might be thinking about such things. He also told Hendershott of the incident between his wife and Darren Bearup.

A few minutes later, Cool says, Hendershott ordered him to write a memo titled "Security Concerns." Hendershott wanted one paragraph to describe Darren Bearup's supposed statement about explosives in the Bearup household, and another paragraph describing Tom Bearup praying for "strength to battle the attack from within the Sheriff's Office," Cool writes.

Cool says he objected, saying he thought the memo was misleading. But Hendershott insisted, he says.

When detectives following up on the memo asked him about it later, Cool says he told them he really had no security concern; the memo was simply something Hendershott had told him to write. "I was very upset that I had been put into a position to have to write a memo and then deny its validity," Cool told Romley.

Later, Hendershott confronted Cool. Hendershott "entered my office very angry, and stated 'I never ordered you to write that fucking memo. You don't understand. I need to investigate any threat against the sheriff.'"

The next day, Cool writes, he was admonished by Hendershott's aide, Lieutenant Frank Munnell, who, Cool says, told him, "He [Hendershott] just wishes you would have been more of a team player."

Cool writes that he thought the incident was forgotten until a month ago. In April, he says, detectives from the Internal Affairs bureau were investigating recent claims that deputies were tailing Arpaio's enemies. Cool says he was asked again about the Bearup memo.

"They asked a lot of questions regarding Hendershott and his role in the writing of the memo. They then probed into his angry episode in my office. I told them the same story and was excused. I had heard rumors that federal indictments were possibly pending, and this made me worry. I wondered if I would be retaliated against," Cool writes.

A week later, Cool found himself the subject of an internal investigation.
Cool says he was accused of making an inappropriate remark and giving out confidential information to a deputy, he says.

Cool says his remark was no more serious than when he had heard Sheriff Arpaio say, "Rick Romley, I am going to fuck him!"

In his letter to Romley, Cool writes: "Not for a moment have I thought that he [Arpaio] was going to have sexual relations with you."

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