Attorney: "So, because you were angry, because you didn't like what Dougherty published, you didn't respond to the request for 142 days, correct?"

Allen: "I didn't really want to communicate with him during that period of time."

Attorney: "So the answer to my question is, that's correct?"

Allen: "Yes."

Attorney: "That's why you didn't respond. Is that right?"

Allen: "Yes."


It's striking to me how obfuscation and delay have been replaced by darker tactics. The press is now often menaced and threatened in pursuit of the public's right to know.

For example, the editor of Phoenix Magazine, Ashlea Deahl, described for readers a threatening phone call she received from County Attorney Andrew Thomas' then-special prosecutor, Dennis Wilenchik, last year.

After venting about the magazine's intention to profile Arpaio's election rival, Dan Saban, Wilenchik demanded an advance copy of the story that he could review.

"The cherry on top? Wilenchik wanted to let us know that he knows someone with our magazine has personal ties to a prisoner in one of Sheriff Joe's jails (another story altogether)," wrote Deahl. "There was nothing more to it — no direct threat — but the context was there: Watch what you print about my buddy and boss, Sheriff Joe."

The sheriff's attorney felt free to suggest that the editor's former boyfriend, then incarcerated on unrelated charges, would feel the consequences of her magazine's articles.

This year, Joe Dana of Channel 12 vigorously pursued the sheriff's questionable exchange program with law enforcement units in Honduras. In pursuit of that story, he examined the relationship between Chief Deputy David Hendershott and a vendor, Hummingbird Defense Systems, and the vast expenditures involving Arpaio's office and their Central American counterparts.

Approached for a response at a public meeting, Hendershott refused comment. Instead, he accused Dana of criminal conduct.

"Are you willing to tell me why you impersonated me to achieve my personal financial records, when I was personally on vacation? Are you prepared to tell me how you broke a Class 6 felony law in this state to three people? You broke the law!" accused Arpaio's second-in-command.

Dana explained in his report that he had no idea what Hendershott was talking about.

But given the number of Arpaio's political foes who have been jailed, and given that, eight months before this exchange, the sheriff arrested and jailed two journalists and cited a third for criminal conduct, Hendershott's questions are more threatening than rhetorical.


The latest chapters of the struggle by the media for access to public records occurs against the backdrop of an unprecedented civil rights fight on the streets of Phoenix. These sordid events led to a second attack upon Ray Stern.

At a César Chávez luncheon in March, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon had decried the sweeps of Mexican neighborhoods for illegals conducted by Sheriff Arpaio as part of County Attorney Andrew Thomas' election pledge to purge Maricopa County of Hispanic immigrants.

"The posse didn't lock up murderers," noted the mayor. "They locked up people with broken tail lights." And then deported them.

Mayor Gordon subsequently asked the Justice Department to look into allegations of racial profiling by Arpaio and his deputies.

On Arpil 9, the New York Times excoriated Arpaio and urged Congress to subpoena the sheriff to account for the roundups of Hispanics.

The sheriff did not hesitate for a moment.

He lashed out at the critic responsible for the unwelcome attention.

On April 24, his men filed a public records request seeking six months' worth of the mayor's e-mails, cell phone records, and meeting-calendar entries. The demand included a call for similar documents from Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris and City Manager Frank Fairbanks.

On June 11, New Times' Stern received a tip that the sheriff's deputies had shown up at City Hall to inspect the records.

The two deputies present did not intend to pay for copies of the nearly 10,000 e-mails produced by the mayor's office. Taking a page from Stern's book, they intended to make their own copies; instead of a camera, however, the deputies brought a portable copying device. No one objected this time.

The cooperation at City Hall, however, did not prevent a confrontation. Once again, Sheriff Arpaio's men threatened to arrest Stern.

The reporter asked to inspect the public records being copied, and the sheriff's men informed him that he'd be arrested if he touched the public documents. Phoenix City Attorney Gary Verburg arrived on the scene of the dispute and informed the deputies that Stern had an absolute right to view the public documents.

The deputies ignored Verburg and called for backup.

MCSO Captain Jim Miller arrived with reinforcements.

"Miller proved himself to be a real bully, practically begging me to make a move that would allow him to arrest me," wrote Stern of the incident. "He accused me of wanting to take public records literally from his deputies' hands, warning me that such an action would certainly lead to arrest. He picked up a couple of random folders sitting on the records counter and waved them in my face. 'Take these papers from my hand,' he snarled. 'Take these from my hand.'"

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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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