Special Treatment

Is justice for sale? Ask privileged characters like Jerry Colangelo

· Defense attorney Darrow Soll contributed $340 in October 2002 and $350 on February 28 at the Colangelo-sponsored fund raiser.

You get the picture.

Outlaw Joe's campaign money is now being used to pay for the endorsements of out-of-state television personalities, such as John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted.

Sheriff Joe watches his backers.
Rand Carlson
Sheriff Joe watches his backers.

No one gives a damn about the campaign finance law violations down at the Maricopa County Department of Elections. The department, you see, only collects campaign finance reports. It can't be bothered with auditing them to see if candidates are violating the friggin' law.

Instead, it waits for complaints. And when they roll in about allegations of violations by Arpaio, the department simply ignores them. Tom Bearup filed a lengthy list of alleged campaign violations during the 2000 race with the department, and he tells me he never even got a response.

Surely this can't be because county election director Karen Osborne's daughter, Tamara Daigle, is married to one of Joe's deputies, Don Overton -- whose uncle is one of Arpaio's top aides, deputy chief Tim Overton.

I'm certainly not comfortable with Osborne's office overseeing the upcoming primary in which Saban has the best chance to beat Arpaio since Joe took office in 1992.

Given Osborne's direct family connection to the highest levels of power inside Joe's inner circle, Osborne should immediately declare a conflict of interest, step aside and ask Secretary of State Jan Brewer to handle the sheriff's race.

On second thought, Brewer's office isn't to be trusted, either -- given her cozy relationship with Jerry Colangelo when she was a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Oh, the tangled webs they weave . . .

There is only one option.

If Maricopa County is to soon rid itself of the Arpaio virus (it's far more dangerous than that West Nile thing), voters early next month must do the job that taxpayer-supported officials are too cowardly to do.

Deliver the knockout blow to Outlaw Joe.

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