Enemies List

Arpaio haters, perceived and otherwise, beware! Looks like Joe's up to his old tricks

The raid came nearly two months after his son, Mark Carpenter, allegedly told an MCSO detective during a job interview for a position as a detention officer that he repeatedly viewed child pornography in 2003.

Rather than arresting Mark Carpenter on January 28 at the time of this rather incredible admission, the MCSO waited seven weeks to obtain a search warrant and seize the computer equipment. Mark Carpenter has never been charged.

Chuck Carpenter says he thinks the MCSO wasn't interested in the case until investigators discovered that Mark Carpenter was his son.

Carpenter was a leader in last year's Republican party rebellion against Arpaio. It was Carpenter who made a motion for the Republican party to endorse Saban rather than incumbent Arpaio in last September's primary.

"I was on their hit list and they hit me," Carpenter tells me. "I have been a very outspoken critic of our idiot sheriff."

Once again, Arpaio could have avoided the appearance of a politically motivated investigation if the MCSO had referred the case to another police agency.

Two days after the raid on Carpenter's home, the Recall Arpaio headquarters was burglarized.

Recall organizers are convinced that the break-in at the law offices of prominent Phoenix attorney Joel Robbins is linked to the MCSO.

"I firmly believe the sheriff's office had something to do with it," recall leader Linda Saville tells me.

She has good reason to be concerned. Her brother, James Saville, spent four years in county jail after he was entrapped by MCSO deputies in a phony 1999 plan to kill the sheriff ("The Plot to Assassinate Arpaio," August 5, 1999).

James Saville was busted in a televised arrest and charged with conspiring to build a car bomb to kill the sheriff. James Saville was eventually acquitted of the charges and released from jail. He has since filed a civil suit against the MCSO.

His struggle spurred Linda to launch a political action committee called Mothers Against Arpaio that supported Saban in last fall's primary. Soon after Arpaio won reelection, Linda Saville began organizing the recall drive.

On the Monday following the break-in, April 18, I received a voice mail message from John Stolze, a criminal investigator from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Stolze said he wanted to discuss my column in which Arpaio's home address was published.

I haven't talked to Stolze, but New Times' attorney Steve Suskin has. Stolze told Suskin he is conducting a criminal investigation to determine whether I committed a Class 5 felony for disclosing Arpaio's home address. State law prohibits the publishing of a peace officer's home address on the "World Wide Web" if the author knows that it poses an "imminent and serious threat" to the officer's life.

The events leading to the publication of Arpaio's home address began early last summer when I went to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office to gather information on about a dozen of Arpaio's commercial and personal real estate investments.

To my surprise, I found that nearly all of Arpaio's real estate records -- records that for anybody else are available for public inspection -- had been removed from the recorder's files.

I soon learned that Arpaio had redacted the records based on the state law.

I asked the recorder's office to release Arpaio's real estate records and simply black out any home addresses and phone numbers. The recorder's office refused. So did Arpaio.

Luckily, the recorder's office missed redacting a few of Arpaio's records. And what I found was troubling. The records showed that the sheriff had invested more than $790,000 in cash in just three commercial real estate projects since 1995.

That seemed like a pretty hefty amount to plow into property for a guy on a civil servant's salary.

In the July 8, 2004, column in question, I slammed Arpaio for refusing to release the commercial real estate records.

I found it ludicrous that he could withhold from public inspection a real estate portfolio easily worth more than $1.5 million under the guise of protecting his home address.

Especially since that address is readily available from a number of sources, including the Maricopa County Clerk's Office, the county elections department and the state Corporation Commission.

If Arpaio's address is already on the public record, I saw no reason not to publish it.

For those of you curious about where the sheriff lives, check out the elections department's Web site at http://156.42.40.50/CampFinDocs/pdf/2004_17747.pdf

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