Letters from the week of August 5, 2004

My question is, why has this cretin been allowed to continue in his position as sheriff of Maricopa County for so long, with no atonement for his evil behavior?

Part of the reason I decided to leave Arizona forever in 1992 was because of the extreme right political atmosphere statewide. Arpaio seems to be the product of that atmosphere.

In addition, the climate in Arizona has changed for the worse. Humidity, due to the plethora of private swimming pools and fake ponds, has risen to make the Valley heat unbearable in the summer. I cannot even imagine the suffering of the prisoners in Arpaio's tent jails. No wonder people die. He is a sadistic brute.

It distresses me to read that sociopaths like Arpaio are kept in office by the people of Maricopa County.

Naval gazing: I see you are as enamored of Sheriff Joke as I am. Although I have never had an encounter with him or his employees, being a good, law-abiding citizen, I detest him and his policies.

Anyway, the point of this is to suggest you might find a good line of inquiry in the subject of Sheriff Joke's Navy.

All the lakes around Phoenix have sheriff's buildings and fancy boat docks (some covered) and a fleet of boats supposedly intended for patrolling the lakes. Problem is . . . they don't patrol.

On weekends they do, but during the week no patrol can be found except for two or three days after a fatal accident on the lake. It appears to be a nice, cushy job for Sheriff Joke's buddies.

Where are the officers assigned to lake patrol? They can often be found in a group at lunchtime at the restaurant at Saguaro Lake. But otherwise, you won't see one cruising around the lake.

This is especially bad during the summertime because parents turn their kids loose with high-powered boats with no supervision. Things like no-wake zones and rules to stay away from fishing boats are not heeded.

A sheriff's deputy could sit up in the no-wake zones and write enough tickets in one day to pay his salary for a year or more. But Sheriff Joke's Navy of patrol boats is sitting firmly in the docks.

Reckon it costs too much money for gas to patrol, eh?

Fear factor: I have been following your stories in regard to this maniac and his antics. I have a loved one who also was in Durango about eight months ago and (like the woman in "Turning Up the Heat") had a spider bite. It took the medical staff forever to treat him. He, too, was facing surgery if something wasn't done.

It is like herding cattle to feed, when a person goes for visitation. The detention officers couldn't care less. The place is filthy and disgusting. The violence factor is outrageous and inhumane, and no one should be subjected to that kind of treatment. I am not saying those who were there didn't put themselves there, but come on: When does it end?

I can't encourage everyone enough to go out and vote against Arpaio. Thanks for all your articles, and for telling it like it is.

Joe must go: Please, please keep writing anything and everything you can about Arpaio. The more the public is made aware of all his activities, the more it will convince enough people -- as if there aren't enough of us already -- that it's time for Joe to go.

Thank you so much for not backing down. Have you ever thought of running for sheriff yourself, John Dougherty? It's obvious you know more about the laws and his jails than Joe does!

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