Grand Wizard Arpaio

The plumed penman denounces Sheriff Joe's shenanigans, and chats with transgendered rocker Genesis P-Orridge about her gig at Anderson's

See, a few months ago, The Bird requested public records regarding travel expenditures for MCSO staff ("Bird Alert," June 28). Perhaps feeling he had to respond since the MCSO had requested similar docs of Phoenix City Manager Frank Fairbanks, Chagolla eventually informed New Times that the documents were prepared and could be viewed at the offices of a private law firm. Requests for copies could be made, but those copies could be retrieved from the MCSO only by a "runner." An appearance by The Bird in person to pick up and pay for the docs might trigger the so-called dire legal consequences.

Could this mean slappin' the cuffs on this canary? Chagolla didn't deny it.

Arresting a journo doin' his job sounds insane. But so does the number Joe's machine pulled on once and future sheriff's candidate Dan Saban, detailed in New Times scribe Paul Rubin's cover story ("Boob's Tube," January 25, 2007). Saban was seen as a viable threat to Arpaio during the 2004 Republican primary, so Arpaio and his henchmen, such as three-ton boot-licker David Hendershott, tried to hang a screwy, decades-old rape claim on Saban, currently Buckeye's police chief.

Saban's lawsuit against Arpaio over the matter began in Superior Court on August 20. Whichever way it goes, it should serve as proof of the vindictiveness and meanness Arpaio and his cronies continue to display toward anybody or any entity refusing to bow down to them.

The sheriff's spitefulness was further highlighted with the determination of the MCSO not to send press releases to the tiny West Valley View, even after being bitch-slapped by two courts! Cost to the public coffers? Oh, an estimated $100K.

Arpaio's regime regularly forces Maricopa County's taxpayers to foot the legal bill for unnecessary injuries and deaths that occur in its facilities, sometimes to the tune of millions a pop. But the MCSO doesn't care, even when the taxpayer's tab is a direct result of something really pathetic, like removing a newspaper (the WVV) from its e-mail list.

New Times isn't on the sheriff's e-mail list either. The MCSO likes to use the lame-o excuse that New Times is in litigation with sheriff's office over legal fees resulting from the MCSO's refusal to pony up certain public docs.

The MCSO also wants New Times prosecuted for revealing Sheriff Joe's address in a years-old John Dougherty column, though anyone smart enough to access Google can find out with a few mouse clicks where the sheriff beds down at night. County Attorney Candy Thomas had kicked the case over to the Pinal County Attorney because of what he deemed a conflict of interest. Now, Pinal has refused to prosecute and has kicked it back to Thomas.

This duck digresses. Back to the scrappy WVV, which was once on the sheriff's e-mail list, but instead of using Arpaio's press releases to pucker up to the penal potentate, the paper used the info to point out the sheriff's vampire-like need for publicity. Propaganda hack Chagolla told the View it was removed from the e-mail list because sending the newspaper press releases had not been "fruitful."

The View, dedicated to covering issues and news in Avondale, Goodyear, and other West Valley communities, sued the sheriff and won! Well, sorta. It didn't get back on the e-mail list, but the MCSO had to at least make the same press releases available for inspection by the newspaper.

The MCSO appealed the decision that Arpaio must make his press releases available to the WVV. On August 16, Arpaio lost the appeal. Not only did the panel of three appellate judges uphold the lower court's dictate, it decided Arpaio was such an ass that he should pay the WVV's lawyer fees.

"The record fully supports the Superior Court's observation" that Arpaio's refusal to put the View on the list was "without a doubt arbitrary and capricious," reads the judgment.

The sheriff says he'll be appealing that decision to the state Supreme Court.

Attorney Dan Barr, who represents the View, says the newspaper's legal fees come to about $43,000, maybe a bit more. Even if the Supreme Court reverses the appeals court, taxpayers will at least pay Arpaio's legal cost to fight the First Amendment. Barr estimates the fees of his opponent, the MCSO's private attorney, Dennis Wilenchik, are probably the same as his. Ka-ching!

After the ruling, this persnickety pelican caught Chagolla on the horn, and asked if the MCSO would adhere to the court order pending its next appeal. At first, Chagolla said it would, then he waffled.

"I can only do the best I can," kvetched the so-called public servant.

Pressed on the issue, he practically exploded.

"Are you going to be there every day?!" Chagolla asked heatedly. "What time are you going to ride there every day?!"

Well, if the pig-headed PIO would just add the WVV (and New Times) to its e-mail list, he wouldn't have to worry about it. But the sheriff's office would rather persist in the pettiness of wasting everybody's time — and county taxpayers' money.

IRONY SUPERNOVA

So get this: Anderson’s Fifth Estate, which is being investigated by AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard's office for allegedly discriminating against transgender doods/doodettes will play host on Monday, August 27, to the most famous transgendered musical act ever: Psychic TV.

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1 comments
Michael Varvel
Michael Varvel

Recently the Maricopa County Sherrifs office violated federal law by using voided, stamped envelopes to return mail to its sender in violation of federal law. My sister had sent a money order to be put on the books of her son who is recently incarcerated in Joe's jail. She received the same envelope back marked as return to sender, and inside the envelope was the receipt for the money in order to be put on her son's books. This is a complete and total violation of federal laws regarding postal larceny. I fully believe that this needs to be followed up on because this is more than a normal practice than just an aberration. Once more are good sheriff is violating the law in the operation and daily running of his jails. Michael varvel, 623-229-5701. You may call me at any time and I'll be happy to answer any questions.

 
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