We Shocked the Sheriff

Violating our First Amendment rights: So now Joe Arpaio's persuaded some peckerwood county attorney's office to seek a criminal indictment against New Times for printing his home address on the Internet, when it was already published on the Internet in 100 places, including on the state Corporation Commission Web site ("Joe Strikes Back," The Bird, December 21)? The real reason he wants to go after your newspaper is NT writer John Dougherty's relentless pursuit of his foul deeds over the years.

I read in NT writer Stephen Lemons' blog, ("Feathered Bastard,"), how Sheriff Joe's now refusing to allow New Times journalists into press conferences at his office (which is paid for with tax dollars). Is it just me, or isn't it a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to refuse any member of the press or the public entry to a news event by a public agency on property paid for by the public?

No, it's not just me. Of course it is!

What I don't understand is why all these county attorney's offices, and even the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, can't find something criminal to indict Joe Arpaio on. Have they even tried? I doubt it! Look at all those people he's killed in his jails. Why isn't he in the slammer for violating the state public records law? What hypocrisy to go after New Times when this embarrassment to humanity is holding public office unscathed and unbowed after all he has done to make a mockery of justice.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office is just the latest prosecutors' outfit to be cowering in fear of Nickel Bag Joe. He was a joke when he was a U.S. drug agent (because he couldn't bust anybody except on little-bitty cases), and now he's a sick joke as sheriff.
Randy Gallegos, Phoenix

The facts back us: I stumbled across a copy of New Times in the newsroom of the Arizona Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona, and the cover was simply gorgeous. Sheriff Joe's address in big letters, and someone had penned "boo-yah!" right next to it.

As a journalist and a student of journalism, the article that went with this cover — which came in response to threats from Arpaio — puts freedom of the press in context. I was more than impressed with the solid facts and explanation of Arpaio's questionable actions. It all fits so neatly.

Keep fighting the good fight for all the journalists and the Maricopa County residents and the gentlemen in pink underwear.
Alan Fullmer, Tucson

Cell Division

A snitch, by any other name: After reviewing Paul Rubin's article "Hey Diddle Diddle" (December 14), I have concluded he is suffering from "Chronic Investigative Premature Ejaculation" syndrome. He writes articles without doing a full research of his topic. At no time did he contact me, my family, or any member of legal "Team Finkel" before publishing the false statements attributed to me by convicted pedophile James Stites.

It appears that Mr. Rubin is unable to complete an article unless first spoon-fed by a child predator, the cops, a county attorney, or from staffers at the Attorney General's Office. If Lois Lane had tried to pass the poorly investigated flapdoodle by Perry White, editor of the fictitious Daily Planet, he would have run her out of his office.

Stites was allowed to plead guilty to attempted molestation of a minor. Mr. Rubin failed to tell his readers what the original charges were against Stites when he was arrested this time. Yes, I shared a small cell with the reprobate while housed at Special Management Unit 1. I found him to be an unwashed, soiled, ignorant, antisocial, vulgar clod. He carried a persecution chip on his shoulder bigger than a pizza box. His grievance mentality made him so disagreeable that I barely talked to him. I certainly never discussed the facts of my trial with him, for I found him to be a "total waste of skin" as a human being. Stites demanded full access to all my electronics, prison store supplies and periodicals. He became belligerent when access was denied.

Why did Stites send false statements to Mr. Rubin, my wife and daughter? He sent my family members the same obscene letters after stealing their addresses while I slept. What did he hope to gain? Perhaps he felt he would get a reward from the Arizona Department of Corrections. Perhaps his delusional dreams included a quid pro quo from the Maricopa County Attorney.

I do know he has earned the title of "Rat Snitch Bastard" from my prison peers. The only thing he has earned is a big red target on his back! Prison snitches are not welcome on any of the Arizona Department of Corrections' yards. His false statements have put him in harm's way. He has nothing to fear from me. I cannot speak for any other group of prisoners. It would be in Stites' best interest if ADC kept him in protective segregation for the rest of his prison sentence.

I remain confident of vindication. I will be restored to family, friends and home.
Brian Finkel, Florence

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