False Positive

Is Joe Arpaio up to his same old dirty tricks? This time, a man's life may be at stake.

Citing the false drug test and other evidence of harassment, Robbins filed a $1 million claim against the county. At the same time, he sent a letter demanding an investigation of the incident to Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and the county Board of Supervisors.

Robbins demanded that the county immediately secure the evidence in the case, particularly that first batch of urine.

On Tuesday, February 10, Robbins asked Judge Aceto to quickly hold a hearing to discuss either transferring Cozzolino to a different facility or freeing him from jail completely.

On Thursday, February 12, Aceto denied the attorney's request for an expedited hearing. Aceto's assistant told Cozzolino's attorney that the judge was "just going to let it run its course."

Wow. What a compassionate guy. I would hope that while Judge Aceto brushes up on his chipping game, he could take just a moment to imagine the hell he is allowing Jim Cozzolino to suffer.

I talked to Cozzolino several times last week. Each time, he was terrified by the thought of returning to jail after he finished work.

His voice was trembling. He questioned whether he could go on. But each time, he came to the same conclusion. He had to go on. He had to for his wife and four kids. He had to return to Joe's jail each night and try to avoid doing anything that could be manipulated into an incident. Beyond that, he realized he had no control.

"I feel like I'm walking into the lion's den each night," he said. "But I've got to do it. I've got to try to survive this."

His only protection is the growing number of fellow inmates who told me they will do anything they can to help him.

"We're probably going to get beat down for helping him," said one of his bunkmates in a phone conversation. "But you've got to help him. It's just the right thing to do because it's so clear these guys want this guy's ass bad."

Apparently, the justice system keeps all its moral compasses behind bars.

Because this bogus drug test incident is a slam-dunk for prosecutors. Yet the county attorney, state attorney general and U.S. attorney all are mute to Robbins' demand for an investigation.

So once again, the state's leaders appear willing to allow a thug and his henchmen to make a mockery of the justice system.

But in this case, they've also been forewarned. Now, if Jim Cozzolino is injured or killed by Arpaio's thugs, it will not be so easy for them to wash the blood of an innocent man from their hands.

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