Letters

09-07-2000

• "News videotaping services of the sheriff's appearances, $11,969." (Arpaio told the state that the videotapes were management tools and provided liability protection. Many of the tapes were of Arpaio appearing in parades and other publicity events.)

• "Training, travel and conferences for employees who had no jail-related operations or whose curriculum did not pertain to jails, $7,015."

• "Banquets for volunteers and other non-jail-related miscellaneous items, $4,633."

• "Attorney fees for the County Sheriff's Office lawsuit regarding its operating budget, $39,350."

Jail enhancement? Sounds more like Joe enhancement.

The fact that the Attorney General's Office refused to act on this bald-faced malfeasance hardly constitutes an expiation. The same attorney general couldn't bring himself to prosecute then-governor J. Fife Symington III for the crimes he committed as a developer.

Regarding the $8 million overspending, New Times is investigating the details of how the sheriff's office has diverted grant money, delayed payments of large bills and shuffled revenues from contractors in an attempt to create the appearance of balanced budgets. These are the "weasel-wording" reasons Arpaio's opponents unanimously agree that the sheriff's office must receive a comprehensive audit.

By the way, each of those "rumors" relayed by opponents in Nelson's story was confirmed by documentation or through interviews with county officials or high-ranking sheriff's officials who, for good reasons, wished not to be identified. Not all disgruntled are ex-employees. (According to sources inside the department, Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, apparently is in the process of a new witch hunt to find "dime-droppers" as well as supporters of Jerry Robertson.)

Fond memories: I'll be damned. I pick up New Times and there's a picture of Joe Arpaio on the cover. I thought he must have made a movie or joined a band, but no, I opened the paper and there's a news feature about him. It brought back fond memories of the days when New Times was a newspaper. Are you thinking of going back to those days? In the article, an Arpaio spokesman called New Times "an arts and entertainment magazine." If he had said that a few years ago, he would have been wrong. You're not very good at arts and entertainment stories, but you used to be good at investigative journalism.

Mark Padwa
via Internet

Precious rights: Someone needs a history lesson. It's the person who spoke, wrote or printed the idea that the office of sheriff should be appointed instead of elected, simply because he or she doesn't like the current officeholder. A group of people sacrificed their lives so that we could exercise our right to vote. It happened circa 1776, and somebody should look it up. Further, when New Times gets the urge to publish what was clearly a political advertisement disguised as "Posse Galore," I suggest it charge the publication costs to the beneficiary campaigns, in this case Robertson and Ayala.

Matthew George
Phoenix

A question for Joe: I have a question for everyone, especially Sheriff Joke: When did the Constitution of the United States change from "We the people" and suddenly become "Fuck the people"? I think I missed that in school. Sheriff Joke's attitude reflects the latter statement.

Brandon Norris
Tempe

Plural Lifestyle

Where's government? Regarding "Rapture & Rupture" (Dave Wagner, August 31), the story about the polygamists in Colorado City: Isn't there any way the government could save the kids and bring a terrible end to the creepy up-top types who are the kidnappers, rapists and general knuckleheads? Why does society still even pretend like we accept this kind of crap? My Gawd.

Chris Chattom
Phoenix

Medium Rare

Great guy: Great article on Frank Baranowski ("Dead Air," Gilbert Garcia, August 24). He is the real deal, a great guy. Up until recently, I did the evening newscasts on KTAR on Sundays starting at about the same time Frank did (I do Sunday mornings now), and Frank and Kelly have always been the warmest people at the station.

Mike Sauceda
Phoenix

Paranormal guy: I read your article about Frank Baranowski with great interest. It was refreshingly without sarcasm and plainly informative. Kudos. For some time I have been disillusioned by the preordained doubt and skepticism that permeates the exploration of the "supernatural." It frightens people and, as history dictates, is automatically ridiculed and scorned.

Rebecca Lewis
via Internet

BOMEX Hex

Gov's responsibility: Kudos to the Flash (August 24) for recognizing that Governor Jane Dee Hull is the sole person who is responsible for, and in turn can fix, the troubles with BOMEX. So far, she has chosen not to step up to the plate, to the detriment of the citizens of Arizona. It is also interesting that Grant Woods has been espousing his 2 cents on the radio about the beleaguered board, when in my opinion he was silent about it during his tenure as attorney general. BOMEX is one person away from being a great board. Governor, when will you do your duty?

Martha Fay, former member, Arizona State Board of Nursing
Phoenix

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