Goon Squad

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a documented history of abusing his power to destroy enemies. Now he's at it again.

Interesting that Arpaio had made it a media event before Beydler was even aware there was an investigation.

Apparently, the gray-haired woman had called Child Protective Services about 24 hours after the incident. Interesting that she would wait 24 hours if she was so interested in protecting children.

Soon after the phone call, six MCSO detectives and deputies arrived at the Beydlers' gallery.

Fountain Hills mayor Jon Beydler
Fountain Hills mayor Jon Beydler

Interesting that similar non-emergency calls are lucky to get one MCSO deputy.

Deputies took cash receipts, security videotapes and other items from the gallery. They took Beydler's car for "heat testing."

They took the Beydler girls out of school and preschool for questioning. They took both the girls and Cheryl Beydler for four hours of questioning at Child Protective Services.

CPS quickly determined the case was a non-event.

But not Joe. He said this issue needed a "world-class investigation."

Yeah, it was so world-class, his deputies didn't interview many witnesses at the scene who would have quickly explained that this was an idiotic thing to investigate.

"It was all Gestapo tactics," Beydler says.

Carried out by the Valley's Keystone Kops.

On September 5, after three weeks of dragging Beydler's name through the mud, the sheriff's department finished its investigation.

The county attorney, too, determined he was guilty of absolutely nothing.

But the first pages of the false jacket are in the books. Joe knows that headlines such as "Mayor investigated for child abuse" stick in voters' heads.

And now, one of Arpaio's boys on the town council, John Kavanagh, has proposed that Beydler be "censured" because of the non-incident.

Beydler, to his enormous credit, says he is unbowed by the stunt.

In Beydler, Fountain Hills residents clearly have a mayor who is strong enough to face down those apparently conniving thugs standing in the way of progress.

"We're strong, tenacious people," Beydler says. "And stuff like this just makes us stronger."

He'll need to be. Because if history is any indication, Joe will try every dirty trick in the book to break him.

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