Upper management might not remember, but they are not clueless. If you do not remember, you cannot be accused of lying. You cannot be contradicted. You cannot be charged with perjury. You certainly cannot be accused of participating in a conspiracy.

By contrast, consider the deposition of Sergeant Jerry Gentry. His memory is not perfect; there is much he forgets. But some things he does remember clearly.

Sergeant Gentry remembered that he was informed of the alleged disturbance of the peace by Freeman rather than by the alleged victim, Michele Iafrate.

Jamie Peachey
Michele Iafrate
Michele Iafrate

Details

Read excerpts from the interviews and other documents here.

He further remembered that the disturbance occurred shortly after 9 a.m. yet he was not contacted by Freeman until shortly before noon. This detail sticks with Sergeant Gentry because he promptly phoned Iafrate, who was at lunch.

The roughly three-hour gap between the alleged disturbance of the peace and Sergeant Gentry's call to the alleged victim, Michele Iafrate, will prove, ultimately, to be a busy time on the 19th floor for Arpaio's brain trust.

In fact, there was so much activity that no one, least of all Chief Freeman, can precisely recall what happened. Clearly, the discussion that would lead to the arrest of Larkin and me was already under way.

Asked whether he was aware of his unit's investigation regarding our grand jury article the very morning he was contacting Iafrate, Sergeant Gentry replied, "Well, it's an obvious yes. I did."

The lost three hours at central command is simply called, for now, "the gap."

For example, during "the gap," Sergeant Gentry cannot recall who it was in the Sheriff's Office that Michele Iafrate contacted about Ray Stern's behavior.

Suskin: "She had made some contact with the MCSO prior to the conversation you had with her, right?"

Gentry: "She must have."

Suskin: "And did you then understand . . . who it is that she called at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to initiate this?"

Gentry: "I don't know."

Suskin: "You don't recall her telling you in your conversations with her on the phone that day?"

Gentry: "No, I didn't ask her, 'Whom did she call?' And she didn't know whom she called or what number she called or anything like that."

So . . . Sergeant Gentry did not ask. And even if he did ask — which he did not — she did not know. Sergeant Gentry did know that much.

Gentry also knew that Ray Stern cussed and swore in Iafrate's office.

Gentry: "She [Michele Iafrate] called me back and told me that Ray Stern had been there. And had been disruptive . . . he was there to review some records. And that he had gotten disorderly and used profanity and gotten loud and had intimidated some of the employees in her office."

Asked about the cussing, Gentry again confirmed the swearing. Not once but repeatedly.

Suskin: "Okay, you specifically recall her telling you in this conversation that he used profanity."

Gentry: "Yes, profanity, definitely."

Suskin: "That sticks out in your mind?"

Gentry: "Yes."

Though Chief Freeman remembers nothing, Gentry, a Selective Enforcement Unit middle manager, recalled just enough to be contradicted by a grunt, Detective John Graham, who remembers many details.

Detective Graham was dispatched by Gentry to conduct the actual investigation at the crime scene, the offices of lawyer Michele Iafrate.

Unlike other witnesses, Detective Graham admits that he knows precisely who Ray Stern is and where Ray Stern works.

It does not take a trick question to learn that Detective Graham even reads the newspaper that employs Stern.

Detective Graham is equally candid that his investigation was, frankly, unprecedented. He simply could not remember ever before being sent to investigate something so picayune; after all, he is a member of the Selective Enforcement Unit, and targeting this type of crime was not normally his duty: "I don't recall having been dispatched for a disorderly conduct."

Furthermore, the witness was adamant that Ray Stern used no profanity.

"If [Stern] had said a cuss word to a lady," testified the courtly Detective Graham, "it would have been in my report."

Detective Graham's report mentions no profanity.

Asked about the contradiction to his testimony, Sergeant Gentry backtracks and acknowledges that, in any case, profanity is beside the point.

"I don't think [profanity] matters at all," countered Gentry. "It's the volume and the way he was . . . [Stern] refused to leave. And argumentative, loud argumentative."

Actually, Gentry is mistaken about that, too; no one claimed that Stern refused to leave.

Detective Graham interviewed five women at the Iafrate law offices and, according to his report, not a single one alleged that Stern refused to leave.

In fact, according to the official report, he repeatedly asked on his way out the door: "Why are you kicking me out?"

Detective Graham's report quotes Stern only on a single other note. Michele Iafrate remembered the reporter departing with a withering rejoinder upon his lips: "Good luck with your [law] practice."

An ironic tone? Surely. Argumentative? Perhaps.

Whether any attorney should suffer argument, let alone irony, begs the question: Is this disorderly conduct or merely disorderly conversation?


It is here that we must pause to consider terror.

"I believe that Mr. Stern raised his voice . . .  which made other people in the building concerned . . . of their safety," testified Detective Graham.

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33 comments
Jeff Turner
Jeff Turner

You guys are doing a great job reporting government corruption. Certainly (and unfortunately) there seems to be job security in that field. But who's job is it to police the police, or to prosecute the prosecutor. Whoever it is, they don't seem to be doing there job to well.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Thanks, "Native Arizonan since 1956". However, the items by me which were deleted consisted of some speculations about the identity, etc., of Equity & Friends, and as such were in fact off-topic; furthermore, once Equity's blather was deleted, my response referencing details of it would merely be confusing to anyone recently arrived on the scene. So, while I appreciate your kind words of support, in this instance I don't mind: I'm just glad to see the spam disappear.

E.T. Arnold Jr.
E.T. Arnold Jr.

I smell a movie in the making. What better time for a story based on government lies and abuse of the people? I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona (South Mountain area) and went to tempe schools (8 years at Kyrene)so, I know Maricopa county. As a teenager, 13 years old, freshman year at McKlintock, I ran away from home and was caught and held at the Durango juvenile detention center. I hid in the projection box in an attempt to escape. When they found me, I was repeatedly kicked by an officer wearing pointed cowboy boots. I understand from a brother that worked at a juvenile prison that the juveniles are still beaten and abused. Arizona must be proud. My problem at home was my stepdad was a full blown alcoholic. He was the sole survivor of a B-29 shot down over Tokyo in WWII. I saw him do things I can't relate here. I was a good kid, asked to address the graduation ceremonies at Kyrene a year earlier. I was abused at the hands of the staff of the Durango facility. It appears the county officials believe they can abuse people in perpetuity, now acting like Nazi SS thugs. If I show up with my camera, will I get jailed and beaten?

Native Arizonan since 1956
Native Arizonan since 1956

I appreciate the deletion of comments from Equity Court Services. Their comments are usually off-topic and self promotional in nature.However, the deletion of comments from Emil Pulsifer leave me puzzled. This is a contributor who is usually on target regarding the topic and often quite well reasoned, not to mention civil in nature, unlike some contributors.Please exercise great judiciousness before deleting comments. Thanks

Dan
Dan

Is this the same Ray Stern who was fired from The East Valley Tribune and couldn't get a job with anyone but the NewTimes?

Bye Bye Phil!
Bye Bye Phil!

This comment was deleted for being off topic.

Coz
Coz

Thank you !

>>This comment was deleted for being off topic.Comment by Equity Court Services from Phoenix on Aug 29th, 2008, 10:17 am

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Would someone PLEASE inform the code-monkeys at Phoenix New Times that the title of the article, as shown on the home page, now reads: "Arpaio Can?t Justify Charging Ray Stern".

Note the substitution of a QUESTION MARK where an apostrophe should be.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

This comment was deleted for being off topic.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

This comment was deleted for being off topic.

Keith Hardy
Keith Hardy

Take these corrupt bastards down. Sherriff Joe is a complete scumbag and bully. Follow his money trail with his property in Fountain Hills and his involvement with the gaming. Expose this bastard and lets put him behind bars in pink underwear where he belongs.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Re: Comment nos. 11 and 14

Ahm taen out ma wee pen knife, Johnny...

E.T. Arnold Jr.
E.T. Arnold Jr.

Is there any doubt why the "Extra-terrestrials" that placed man on this earth (we are the offspring and siblings of the ET's) are currently on their way to this planet to eradicate the filth in human government? In fact, they are going to annhilate all human forms of government and their evil human cogs and establish a perfect government for mankind everywhere. First, after crushing the vermin ruining the earth and causing the suffering of it's inhabitants, the ET government will eradicate all forms of disese and sickness! The erath's weather will be brought under control and the mountains will overflow with an overabundance of healthful, healing produce. PEACE will be found everywhere while evildoers and their foul deeds will be not be found anywhere! Mankind will be put back on it's original path of learning and exploration as we devote all our energy to the benefit of our fellow man and our ET family. Juast as space has no bounds or end, so will the future of man be filled with wondrous things. We will enjoy these things to time indefinite as we enjoy one of the greatest benefits from the ET's, the end of the great enemy death. Yes, one of the lasting benefits the ET government will bestow upon us is eternal life...eternal life that we may see and rejoice in the good deeds of our own hand! Now, who in their right mind would not welcome the ETs when they arrive? Obviously, the vermin for which the ETs hold a death warrant! The ETs placed their law code in the physical make-up of the human race. We call it our conscience. It looks like the vermin that have broken the laws of the ETs are going to be rounded up shortly and put to the fire of destruction! Now that I have let the cat out of the bag, is the sheriff going to come and arrest me? I always got a kick out of the tough sheriff but, IF he is violating the constitution my father and uncles died to defend, then he is the enemy just like Hitler, PolPot, Joe Stalin, and all the vile murdering vermin we had to eradicate. You cannot swear to uphold the constitution in the executution of your duties for which you are taking taxpayor dollars for your livelihood then violate the constitution and your oath as it suits you. NO SIR! You dishonor all those that have fought and died for the very thing you now violate. If its all true, put him in his pink underwear, and feed him baloney and no coffee. Another example of how absolute power corrupts...IF its all true...and it sure looks like is! Of course, if Joe's laundry is prefectly clean, why not show it to the world just like the pink underwear he is so famous for? Why all the dirty tricks if you have nothing to hide Joe?

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Great article, Mr. Lacey. First rate. Thanks especially for the revelation that Uncle Joe & Friends attempt to intimidate political and other opponents by (a) determining if they have any incarcerated friends or relatives, and (b) threatening to expose them to harm in Arpaio's gang-infested jails. MCSO doesn't, of course, have to make explicit threats: as in the example given, its agents can simply make pointed observations and let the imaginations of the victims do the rest. Let's hope that the past actions of these thugs and their mouthpieces catch up with them.

By the way, please delete the long, long spam posting (Comment #11 by Equity Court Services). Surely you understand that it's a non-starter? By the time the readers puzzle their way through it, they're exhausted and have forgotten about both the article and the comments actually germane to it. Please don't allow loons (whether genuine or simulated) to discourage reader feedback by turning the comment sections into a vast wasteland of irrelevant nonsense. Criticism or even abuse is one thing, provided it's on topic, but this is something else entirely. (The inclusion of a few random references to the article's contents is merely camouflage -- the Trojan Horse by which he hopes his irrelevant junk-bomb can be smuggled in without deletion.)

abogada987
abogada987

to Who Cares from Yuma: I know lots of good folks from Yuma who don't suffer from your indifference to responisve, accountable government.

Keep up the good work Stern and Lacey.

gizzard
gizzard

Another lawsuit heading your way Arpaio. Nice job on the Dowling case also, more tax dollars wasted and your stupidity still shines on!

Dan Farrell Davis
Dan Farrell Davis

Mr. Lacey -- Just as New Times was way ahead of criminal proceedings against Charles Keating, we look forward to the day that Sheriff Arpaio and this cronies will get their own charges, convictions and jail time.

Mr. Lacey, you are a true hero.

Steve
Steve

The bully and the perpetual victim are at it again. Big deal. This was a waste of column space.

Who Cares
Who Cares

I want the 15 minutes of my life back it took to read this stupid article. Both sides sound like children squabbling over nothing. One acts like a bully, the other a perpetual victim who whines all the time.

Coz
Coz

I'm looking forward to the day they all go to jail so they can suffer the same pain, torture and harassment they have so happily placed done onto others.

Native Arizonan since 1956
Native Arizonan since 1956

Arpaio and Thomas are digging their own graves (figuratively). Their careers will be remembered for their waste, their arrogance and their lack of any meaningful contribution to society. I look forward to the day that both are unemployed.

kathleen
kathleen

Isn't it time to have our actions speak louder than all of Thomas and Arpaio's rhetoric. VOTE them out. Saban and Richard for Sheriff and County Attorney. Their actions (Thomas and Arpaio)speak so loudly who can possibly hear what they have to say.

Coz
Coz

Amazing....When do these Assholes, Low life Dirtbags, Scum Buckets, Nim Rods....Arpaio, his Monkey's, Thomas and the rest of these Bigger Than Life Scumbags go to jail themselves ?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

All I see is thousands of dollars of wasted taxpayers money and abuse of power by the sheriff's office. Once again, all this time, money and resources would be better spent on the violent criminals rather than used to retaliate against their perceived enemies -- the press. Thank you New Times for keeping the public informed of the facts and details, while the other media cover what's fed to them by the sheriff and county attorney's offices.

skepticguy
skepticguy

@Dan yep. the same ray stern who now works for his wife at a paper known for its fabrications.

 
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