By New Times
By Connor Radnovich
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Ray Stern
By Keegan Hamilton
By Matthew Hendley
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
Why was such an overwhelming armed force deployed against a few people who empty trash baskets?
We have come to this point because of a marriage of cynical convenience between County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
On the same day that Arpaio rousted City Hall, Thomas abused the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix because it dared to put a little money into the jailhouse accounts of immigrant inmates for cigarettes and food.
Later, Thomas would endorse the Mesa raid.
"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups," says the narrator in the opening of Law & Order. Yet here, in Maricopa County, that critical separation no longer exists.
Our chief prosecutor no longer functions as a check upon law enforcement. County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio march in lockstep. And it is not just Mexicans who are in peril. This marriage of political connivance between the prosecutor and the lawman endangers the rights of all residents.
Arpaio and Thomas fuel each other's worst instincts. The result is that the safeguards of constitutional balance are tipped toward legal mayhem.
While Arpaio has strutted with the bombast of Il Duce throughout his 16 years in office, his malevolence blossomed with Thomas' election in 2004.
Before that election, Arpaio said on the record that he would not target illegal immigrants working in this county.
But once elected, Thomas successfully sought legislation allowing him to prosecute the lowest Mexican worker as if he were a smuggling kingpin.
Arpaio saw the avalanche of publicity, spun on a dime, and went after Hispanics with grandstanding zeal, attracting the attention of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The sheriff does not target Mexicans engaged in kidnapping, drug dealing, or violence; Arpaio targets those gainfully employed.
It takes real work to find criminals. But Mexicans are easy to locate; they are at work.
If immigration brought Arpaio to Thomas, it was only the beginning of the dance.
Thomas has repeatedly used taxpayer funds to hire his former boss and political patron to defend Arpaio.
In the seemingly endless lawsuit Hart v. Hill (now Graves v. Arpaio), brought by prisoners against the conditions in the jail, Thomas hired Dennis Wilenchik to defend the sheriff.
In 2007, this newspaper revealed that four of America's largest county jails had a total of fewer than 50 inmate lawsuits in federal courts since January 2004. Yet in the same three-year period, prisoners filed 2,150 lawsuits against Arpaio. Taxpayers have shelled out more than $43 million to insure, defend, litigate and settle these complaints over the conditions and corpses that spewed from the policies of "America's toughest sheriff."
Last week, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake declared that the conditions in Arpaio's jails violated the Constitution of the United States.
In this short space, it is impossible to give a sense of all that Judge Wake, a conservative Republican, found unacceptable. But his 83-page finding is extremely detailed. Among other things, he condemned the use of psychotropic drugs to control inmates. Noting that a particular medication induces "extremely painful . . . muscle spasms . . . potentially permanent and disfiguring involuntary movements around the face," Judge Wake observed that the drug was used on both psychotic and mentally stable pre-trial detainees "without justification."
Other findings by Judge Wake appear benign unless you know the history. He ordered that Sheriff Arpaio not house mentally ill patients in cells hotter than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This has nothing to do with prisoner comfort. New Times originally revealed that jailers closed air vents in a cell as punishment, which killed a 300-pound man with a heart condition.
The dead man was not even the original target of the jailer's homicidal discipline.
A month before Judge Wake's ruling, Arpaio was notified that his jail was losing national accreditation because of court testimony contained in a written review. Thomas is now hiding the embarrassing report, alleging it is not a public record, thereby sparing his ally further incriminating coverage before the election.
Although Wilenchik's loss in the suit will expose taxpayers to millions more in damage claims, it is only the most recent example of the Thomas, Arpaio, and Wilenchik relationship.
When the county attorney hired Wilenchik last year in a futile attempt to remove the Assistant Presiding Criminal Judge of Superior Court, Timothy Ryan, from all cases involving Thomas' office, Arpaio removed his deputies from their courthouse assignments and shut down the justice system in a one-day act of intimidation.
And let us not forget that this month is the one-year anniversary of the illegal grand jury.
Last October, Wilenchik issued illegal grand jury subpoenas seeking the identity of citizens who read New Times. Hired by Thomas to avenge a four-year-old dispute over public records between this newspaper and Sheriff Arpaio, Wilenchik sought to put this newspaper out of business.
Without waiting for the judge's ruling, Sheriff Arpaio's deputies showed up at our homes in the middle of the night, slapped us in cuffs, and took us off to jail.
Only the public's outcry forced Thomas to drop the charges, though he continued to prosecute one of our reporters caught up in the public-records battle. (That case was dismissed just weeks ago.)
Now days before the election, Thomas and Arpaio are acting in consort again, with the prosecutor defending the lawman's assault upon City Hall.
And Thomas and Arpaio have both aired television ads for the pending election so repulsive that they have been taken off the air. The sleazy spots have been illegally financed, to the tune of six figures, by a shadowy group headed by a member of the sheriff's command structure.
Voters must now divorce themselves from this bad marriage.
As readers of this newspaper know, we do not routinely endorse politicians. It is our belief that a news-saturated society does not benefit from journalists anointing officeholders.
But this election is about right and wrong and a climate of fear that ought not exist. We speak out to encourage you to vote.
With only nominal opposition in the general election, Sheriff Arpaio was essentially re-elected in 2004 in the Republican primary, with a mere 22 percent turnout.
Those depressed by the choices in the past must see through the temptation of cynicism.
Dan Saban and Tim Nelson are decent men with long, honorable records of service.
We do not write lightly when we say that this particular election is a matter of life and death.
Last month, New Times revealed that 11 deputies beat and suffocated Juan Mendoza Farias to death. Arrested on a DUI probation violation, Farias was going through alcohol withdrawal when Arpaio's men killed him. The sheriff has refused to release the jail video of the incident despite our public records request, saying the case is under investigation.
Arpaio says this, of course, knowing that prosecutor Thomas will not investigate the sheriff's deputies.
This stonewalling was no surprise. A lawsuit is routinely required to compel Arpaio to obey the law, and we have, once again, gone to court. But the sheriff's stubborn cover-up was cast into stark highlight this month when Channel 5 broadcast the leaked tape of yet another jail death.
The sheriff announced that nothing could be done to stop this sort of violence. His men cannot be everywhere, after all.
Sixty troopers are marshaled to arrest three Mexican office cleaners at the Mesa library. But there are not enough deputies available to protect Mr. Cotton in Arpaio's own jail?
The marriage of Arpaio and Thomas dares not speak its shame.
Vist Channel 12 News and click on the video for The Man Behind Sheriff Arpaio.
A little tidbit on Hendershott.
It's amazing that former officers of MCSO need to hide their identities for fear of retribution.
The wrong person is wearing the brides dress. Joe just does the dirty work. Thomas is the truly frightening one. He has brains and ambition, something Il Duce is lacking. There relationship bears a strong resemblence to Mussolini and Hitler.
the marriage or joker and candy hsi bride jsut cracks me up, it is so true. and halarious, so creative . one picture tells a thousand words!!! funny stuff and RIGHT ON!!
you accuse them of being mad "cause they got arrested" but you dont see that they got arrested in on of Joes retaliation stunts. Anyone crosses his path or goes against what he dictates "Ill arrest you," or Dont be disorderly"or ill arrest you. take away that badge and stick his butt in jail . it was an illegal arrest, hello you are jepardinzing your own rights by sticking up for coruption.
of one thing we can be certain; Joe Arpaio and Andrew Thomas are gi-normous a-holes. But we can also be certain that the one thing they actually get right is their tough stance on immigration. The blight of these illegal immigrants is horrifiic and undeniable. They severely tax the integrity of our economy and community. Fuck them. Arpaio is doing the right thing in this case and I hope Saban will keep up the beaner-herding tactics if elected.
The big picture is that if word spreads (and it will) that Phoenix is a hostile environment for illegals to be - and it in any way stems the tide of Mexicans flooding our country like the '04 tsunami flooded Phuket - then all the efforts, and money spent funding them, were worth it.
I would never say that New Times is homophobic,you all have always been there to lend a hand to minorities.I feel the need to point out the insensitivity of your cover page of Vol39 October 30 issue.Mosy people do not read New Times,they do look at the covers as they are passing by though.This particular cover depicts charicatures of Arpaio and Andrew Thomas in wedding drag,which is cool if you actually pick up the paper and read the article.Like I stated,most people just look at the cover and with prop.102 waving it's ugly finger in the face of the GLBT community it is in very poor taste to run this picture on the cover.Two ugly white guys in wedding drag is enough to turn most stomachs,even mine and I have seen some of the worst drag shows ever,but this cover is disturbing to the wrong audience.Yet another example of thoughtless heterosupremacy,try to do better please.
�VIRTUAL DAN SABAN RALLY.�
It�s an online effort to get as many people as possible to vote for me for Maricopa County Sheriff this Tuesday. With your help, we have a great chance of pulling off an upset victory and bringing accountability and justice to the Maricopa County Sheriff�s Office.
But we need every vote we can get.
Here are two �links� of our campaign advertisements for you to listen to and view.
Radio Spots http://www.sabanforsheriff.com...
Please listen/view these spots and email this message to five of your friends.
You can also include a personal message about why you�re voting for Dan Saban.
Together, we can make a difference in this Tuesday�s vote.
Visit our Web site for more details: http://www.sabanforsheriff.com...
Thanks in advance for using the Internet to get out the vote!
Good health & Blessings,
( PHOENIX) October 31, 2008: In striking contradiction to an earlier ASU/Cronkite poll of �likely voters,� a new poll of �newly registered voters� shows that Dan Saban holds a commanding lead in the race for Maricopa County Sheriff among this group. The ASU poll did not include any of the 487,108 voters who have registered since the November 2004 Sheriff�s race. These newly registered voters make up 28 percent of Maricopa County�s voting population.
In a telephone survey conducted October 24-30, 54 percent of newly registered voters preferred Dan Saban over the Republican incumbent. 31.7 percent said they would vote for Arpaio, and 14.3 percent were still undecided. The telephone survey of 454 �newly registered voters,� conducted for the Saban for Sheriff campaign, asked respondents: �If the election for Maricopa County Sheriff were held today, for whom would you vote: Dan Saban, Joe Arpaio, or are you undecided?�
This is in almost direct contradiction to the ASU poll because the methodologies used were different. The ASU poll did not include people who used a cellphone as their primary telephone. According to Bruce Merrill of the ASU/Cronkite poll, that group accounts for between 20-30 percent of telephone users. This group also tends to be younger than land-line users.
Both polls surveyed Republicans, Democrats and Independents based on their percentage of the voting population, but the ratios are different from when �likely� voters voted in 2004. Then the percentage of Republicans was higher in the voting population. The ratios among �newly registered� voters are completely different, with Democrats making up 29.7 percent, Republicans 29.4 percent, �Others� 40 percent, and Greens and Libertarians combining for .007 percent. The poll�s margin of error is +/-4.6 percent.
The differences between these two polls underline the importance of looking at the numbers in new ways. For example, a poll of �likely voter� respondents taken prior to the Saban/Arpaio primary in 2004 showed Saban was favored by only 18 percent, yet he finished with 44 percent of the vote.
Bill Perry, manager of the Saban for Sheriff campaign, said �We believe the poll conducted by ASU missed a lot of voters who will likely have a big say in this year�s election. More than 188,000 people registered this year alone and they deserve to have their voices heard in advance of Election Day. What we�re hearing is they want a new sheriff and that sheriff is Dan Saban.�
Great job Mike....!Thanks for standing up for honesty, integrity and morals...Something Thomas and Arpaio know nothing about...
You're just mad because you got arrested when you broke the law, and you've been trying to recover ever since. Even the real truth is pointed out to you by a commenter above, you refuse to change your article.
Overwhelming bias will never convince anyone of anything.
Here's the quote from Ray Stern's Sept. 30th article. Thanks for providing the source."The Phoenix ICE/DRO office removed a record 50,000-plus immigrants from the state in the fiscal year that ended September 30. The majority were low-level offenders found in drop houses and smugglers' vehicles, referred by local police or others apprehended by ICE who have no record of serious crime. Even of the 16,000 people removed (or scheduled to be removed) by ICE from county jails, most were relatively minor offenders � just as the Scottsdale arrest reports demonstrate."
Dear Native Arizonan
Please see Ray Stern's article "Police State",September 30,2008, in which he quoted federal statistics accumulated by the local office of ICE.
Out of curiosity, can you tell readers how you verified "swept 50,000 Mexicans from our community" as stated in this column? Thanks