ANALYSIS (See list of related stories that led up to this piece)

"This situation has absolutely nothing to do with the Sheriff's Office."

That's what sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Allen told New Times last week when questioned about the growing SCA campaign finance scandal — a claim that surely ranks right up there with "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" and "I am not a crook!" when it comes to pathetic denials.

After all, we're talking about a situation in which a half-dozen of the sheriff's highest-ranking officers systematically stashed tens of thousands of dollars in a secret account and then funneled the money to the Arizona Republican Party. Now these ace detectives would have us believe it's pure coincidence that the Republican Party just happened to donate virtually the same amount of money to a committee that financed the nastiest attack ad in recent memory — and that the ad just happened to target Sheriff Joe Arpaio's opponent.

New Times photo illustration
Former candidate for sheriff Dan Saban
AJ Alexander
Former candidate for sheriff Dan Saban
MSCO Chief Deputy David Hendershott
MSCO Chief Deputy David Hendershott
Captain Joel Fox
Captain Joel Fox
Randy Pullen, chairman of the state Republican Party
AJ Alexander
Randy Pullen, chairman of the state Republican Party
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard
AJ Alexander
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard
One of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s richest friends donated to the SCA fund.
AJ Alexander
One of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s richest friends donated to the SCA fund.
Dennis Wilenchik, now representing the MCSO donors.
Dennis Wilenchik, now representing the MCSO donors.
Arpaio donor Steve Ellman
Arpaio donor Steve Ellman
Attorney Grant Woods
Attorney Grant Woods


Read previous articles and blog posts about the SCA scandal in Valley Fever.


Thanks to last week's belated financial disclosures, we now know that high-ranking sheriff's officers, including Chief Deputy David Hendershott, donated money from their paychecks using direct deposit. They then spent nine months denying their involvement — violating the most basic tenet of campaign finance law.

We also know now that donors to the fund included not just the sheriff's most enthusiastic employees, but one of his richest friends.

Yet we're supposed to believe the money was never meant to go to the sheriff's re-election efforts. We're supposed to believe, in fact, that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain!

The sheriff is not a crook!

There's good reason everyone at the MCSO keeps insisting that this whole thing is a giant coincidence, even though its explanations contradict all logic. If what appears to have happened really did happen — if the sheriff's men laundered money to attack his political opponent — someone just might end up in prison.

Lisa Hauser is an attorney with Gammage & Burnham who specializes in election law. In fact, for 10 years, she prosecuted such cases for the Arizona Attorney General's Office. (She is also, for the record, a Republican.)

While not speaking to the merits of this particular case, Hauser says the facts, as reported, raise a number of questions — and potential violations of the law.

I'll get to those in a minute. But first, a little background on the scandal, for those of you who haven't been able to follow my colleague Ray Stern's excellent minute-by-minute coverage.

Last October, as Sheriff Joe Arpaio was in the thick of a hard-fought re-election campaign, the Arizona Republican Party ran a vicious ad targeting his opponent, Dan Saban.

Saban and Arpaio had a history of animosity, to put it mildly. Four years earlier, when Saban ran against Arpaio in the GOP primary, Arpaio's top staffers (including spokeswoman Allen and Hendershott) leaked a police report to a TV news reporter alleging that a teenage Saban had raped his own foster mother. When the charge turned out to be baseless — the mother had a history of making false allegations and mental instability — Saban sued Arpaio.

That was a huge mistake on Saban's part. As much as he had been wronged in the 2004 election, the lawsuit opened the door to questions about his sex life. Sadly, that life had been rather complicated, including no fewer than four divorces ("Below the Belt," Paul Rubin, September 20, 2007).

Ultimately, the suit allowed Arpaio's attack-dog attorney, Dennis Wilenchik, to ask Saban about a number of subjects better left unaddressed by an aspiring politician, including whether the veteran cop had ever masturbated on duty. Unbelievably, Saban admitted he had. It was 30 years ago, but still . . . His videotaped admission provided one of the key visuals in the Republican's attack in 2008.

The ad was both outrageous in its pettiness and dishonest in its innuendos. In addition to the bit about masturbation, the ad suggested Saban might have once exposed himself to a child (he didn't) and attempted to rehash the whole foster mom allegation (which had no merit).

Not surprisingly, public pressure forced the Republican Party to yank the commercial after just a few airings. It also had to pull an ad smearing the opponent of Arpaio's best buddy, County Attorney Andrew Thomas. That ad accused attorney Tim Nelson of allowing child molesters to go free — simply because Nelson had taken contributions from defense attorneys.

Both ads were paid for by a group called Arizonans for Public Safety. Campaign finance records revealed that group was funded entirely by the Arizona Republican Party.

And that raised some questions from Republican legislators. They questioned why the party would use its limited funds to help Arpaio — who had a giant war chest — at a time when the Democrats were pouring money into legislative races, leaving them vulnerable.

The questions led to a few interesting admissions. On October 9, a few days after the ads ran, the GOP's chairman, Randy Pullen, told the Arizona Capitol Times that he'd been raising money for county races because he was concerned that Arpaio's "numbers [had] been softening" and that County Attorney Thomas was "at risk." He said the money for the ads had come from a group called SCA.

"We went out to this group [SCA] and we got this money," he told the Capitol Times, according to a report published in the paper's online supplement, the Yellow Sheet. "That was money that we essentially set aside for county races . . . I already decided what I was going to do with the money before I got the money."

Pullen said he didn't know what SCA stood for, although at least one news report at the time suggested it stood for Sheriff's Command Association.

"As far as I know, my understanding of SCA is it's just a bunch of individuals who are concerned about what's going on in Maricopa County," Pullen said, according to the Yellow Sheet. "Some of them are ex-law enforcement and a wide variety of other people."

In a blog post responding to angry GOP activists, a Republican national committeeman named Bruce Ash seemed to second Pullen's suggestion that the money had been earmarked.

"The Saban ad campaign was not done using ANY funds from AZGOP which were donated for any other cause other than the specific campaign," he wrote, "and would not have been donated had the ad campaign not been run."

Reached by New Times earlier this week, Ash wouldn't elaborate — but he didn't retract his assertion, either.

Those admissions almost immediately triggered a complaint from the state Democratic Party. Campaign finance law clearly barred Pullen from allowing an independent expenditure committee, such as the SCA, to earmark its contributions for a particular race.

As attorney Hauser explains, one of the most important tenets of campaign finance law is full disclosure. If I give the max donation to Sheriff Joe Arpaio — perish the thought — his campaign filings have to show that I've done so.

But let's pretend I don't want people to know I'm a Sheriff Joe supporter. So let's say I write a $390 check to my cousin in Detroit, and then she writes a $390 check to the Arpaio campaign. At that point, the public has lost its ability to know who's attempting to influence the sheriff — and my cousin and I have just broken the law.

That appears to be what happened here. And if the sheriff's employees gave money to the Republican Party with the intent of having the party funnel the money to Arpaio's race, that's an attempt to hide the true source of a donation to Arpaio. It's just as dishonest as my cousin's putting her name on my money.

For that reason, it's illegal, Hauser says.

"If there is an intent to hide the source of the contributions, that's laundering money," she says. You can give money to a politician, but if you give money to a political action committee with the understanding it will go to a politician — thereby hiding any direct link — "that's very bad," Hauser concludes. "That can land you in prison."

The potential illegality is compounded by the fact that there are strict limits to what an individual can give to a campaign. (In 2008, it was $390.) But there are no such limits for political parties or independent committees: You can give them as much as you want.

But you have to do it honestly. I can give the party $10,000 to get its message out and aid its candidates, but I can't give the party $10,000 with the understanding it will help Arpaio directly. That's basically giving Arpaio a $10,000 contribution — which clearly exceeds that $390 limit.

That's a problem.

Last fall, it wasn't clear who the SCA's backers were, much less whether (as Pullen initially indicated) they'd meant to give the money specifically to Arpaio. When the party filed its initial report, it noted only two checks from SCA, totaling $105,000, and subsequent transfers totaling $102,000 to the newly formed Arizonans for Public Safety.

That's when things really got bizarre. The SCA then failed to file a report listing its donors. Campaign finance experts say that's unquestionably a requirement of state law.

Pullen told reporters that his contact for the group was a guy named Joel Fox. Pullen would later testify under oath that he asked Fox several times for the names of his contributors, but Fox refused.

As it turns out, Fox wasn't just John Q. Public, interested in democracy and the Republican way. He was a high-ranking sheriff's officer — and a true Arpaio partisan. Fox was one of the sheriff's employees who filed Arpaio's nominating petitions in 2004. And in the wake of a post-election housecleaning, in which top officers were demoted for their support of Saban, Fox was one of the guys who got promoted. He ended up in charge of the sheriff's SWAT team.

Fox had every reason to see that the money helped Arpaio.

But after the ads ran, Fox still refused to give Pullen a list of his backers. Even Pullen knew that wouldn't fly. Facing potential legal repercussions of his own, the party's chairman refunded the $105,000 to Fox on October 17 — one month after the transfers to pay for the ads and two weeks after the ads set off a firestorm.

Even with the refund, though, the problem didn't go away for Fox. He'd clearly supplied the checks to the party, even if they ended up serving as little more than a no-interest loan. Under state law, his donors had to be disclosed.

He's fought that edict for the past nine months.

Because the donation went to the state party, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard opened an investigation last fall. His spokeswoman declined comment, but it's pretty clear the matter is still under review.

And because the money may have also affected a county race, the county elections department also looked into the matter. When it found probable cause that violations had occurred, County Attorney Thomas — citing his own conflict of interest — spun the case off to a private attorney.

Jeffrey Messing, an attorney at Poli & Ball in Phoenix, landed the case by pure chance. The Yale-educated lawyer isn't known as a political guy, and many reporters openly wondered whether he had the will to take on the case.

As it turned out, he did.

Fox, then the only guy who was linked to the SCA fund, didn't make it easy. In a series of letters to Messing, and ultimately in front of Administrative Law Judge Thomas Shedden and Superior Court Judge Robert Houser, Fox argued long and hard that he never had intended to influence an election. Sure, he'd given money to the Republican Party, but who's to say the party didn't spend the money on hotel rooms for the National Republican Convention in St. Paul? Messing pointed out that Fox never had stipulated that the money shouldn't go for electioneering — surely, by giving money to a political party, he intentionally made a political contribution.

But Fox wouldn't give an inch.

He claimed that he'd never even spoken with the fund's donors. The money had just kind of rolled in — somehow, he said, the bank account number must have been passed around. Why did anyone donate? Well, he'd talked about doing something to combat the negative image of the Sheriff's Office in the media. Certainly not a commercial — no one watches TV anymore, he insisted. As for his donors, they'd given months, even years, before the election. How could they possibly have guessed their money would end up with the Republican Party, much less linked to anti-Saban ads? Why should they be subject to abuse from the media because of decisions he alone made?

Messing pointed out that Fox and a colleague, executive chief Larry Black, had taken the time to register two different political action committees in the fall of 2006 — and that those committees shared a post office box with the SCA. Didn't that indicate they'd intended to get involved in the political process? Nope, Fox replied, the shared post office box was pure coincidence.

And just one month before that, Messing noted, Black had purchased the domain name Didn't that mean SCA stood for Sheriff's Command Association? Certainly not, Fox said. It stood for nothing. It could even stand, he suggested at one point, for "second-chance apples."

Really, you'd have to hear this malarkey to believe anyone could say it without laughing.

Near the end of his long battle with Messing, Fox even suggested that he could show the list of names to elections officials — in private. They surely would see at that point that the donors weren't trying to the influence the election and would let the whole thing slide. Oddly enough, no one fell for that one.

Through it all, the spinning sheriff's captain kept a remarkably straight face. When I questioned him directly after one of the hearings, Fox told me unequivocally that his backers did not include Chief Deputy Hendershott. It was, he insisted, a very unremarkable list. Then he lectured me a bit about the way the media tries to take down innocent people.

I'll say this for Fox: He didn't lose for lack of effort.

It took nine months, an order from Judge Shedden, and the real threat of a $315,000 fine, but eventually, Fox coughed up his donor list.

Last week, we finally learned why he fought so hard to keep it secret.

The list included not just Hendershott, but six other top officers in the sheriff's department. Records showed that they had all set up direct deposit with the county so that $50 from every paycheck went directly into the account.

• Hendershott was in the very first batch to make contributions — before, in fact, Captain Joel Fox made his first contribution. He gave a total of $2,650.

• Frank Munnell, a deputy chief who runs the patrol division, gave $2,400.

• Fox, the SWAT team commander, gave $2,050.

• Brian Sands, a deputy chief who reportedly heads the sheriff's law enforcement division, gave $2,000.

• Scott Freeman, a deputy chief in the special investigations division, gave $1,800.

• Larry Black, the former executive chief (and current civilian MCSO employee) who helped Fox set up the political action committees in the fall of 2006 and registered the Sheriff's Command domain name, gave $950.

• Former deputy chief Jesse Locksa, who's also been rehired as a civilian, gave $300.

Records show that Freeman, Sands, and Locksa already had given Arpaio's campaign the maximum donation permitted by law.

In addition to the money from the Sheriff's Office employees, the fund also garnered contributions from five wealthy businessmen.

Four of them are based out of state and don't appear to have strong ties to Arpaio. But the fifth, developer Steve Ellman, is a longtime donor who'd already given the maximum amount permissible in the 2007-08 election cycle.

The record suggests he's also a friend of Arpaio's. He roasted Arpaio at the sheriff's 70th birthday party and, at one point, served as a captain in the sheriff's advisory posse.

Ellman also has ties to Hendershott. A newsletter shows the men sharing a table at a Glendale Chamber of Commerce luncheon in 2006. They also had a business relationship: Hendershott's wife opened a restaurant in Ellman's Westgate City Center, records show. The eatery has since closed.

It seems likely that Ellman recruited at least one of the businessmen who contributed to the account. James Wikert, an aviation expert and real estate mogul in Dallas, serves with Ellman on a non-profit board devoted to forging better relations with Cuba. Records show that Wikert also purchased a 1 percent stake in the Ellman-owned Phoenix Coyotes, a deal that cost him roughly $1 million.

Ellman's office referred all questions to his lawyer, Grant Woods, who is out of the country. Woods' office said it would have no comment other than a prepared statement that does not address the Wikert matter. Wikert also didn't return a call for comment.

A third businessman on the list, James Liautaud, could also have contributed to the deputies' secret fund in hopes of helping Arpaio. Liautaud, who owns the Jimmy John's chain of sandwich restaurants in Illinois, was an early backer of Mitt Romney's presidential bid. So was Arpaio. (Arpaio's PR guy, Jason Rose, who also represents Steve Ellman, ran Romney's Arizona campaign.)

Interestingly, records show that Liautaud's parents each contributed almost the maximum allowed to Arpaio's campaign in 2006.

And there's one more curious fact that strongly suggests all five wealthy businessmen knew full well where their donations were going:

The Arizona Republican Party's chairman, Pullen, was forced to return the $105,000 donation to Fox on October 17. As I first reported on New Times' Valley Fever blog, within the next two weeks, four of the businessmen — and the wife of a fifth — turned around and wrote checks to the Arizona Republican Party.

The five families had donated a total of $95,000 to the committee started by the sheriff's deputies. The money they donated to the GOP in the month of the dirty Saban ad would total $90,000 — almost the exact total they'd previously given.

So these rich guys donated tens of thousands of dollars to SCA, a fund that the chairman of the state party, by his own admission, contacted in hopes of raising money to help Arpaio and Thomas.

SCA gave the money to the party. The party paid for the ads.

And then, when the party was forced to return the money to SCA, the same rich men turned around and donated nearly the exact same amount to the party.

Yet we're supposed to believe that money was never earmarked for Arpaio?

Are they stupid? Or do they just think we are?

I sat through nearly six hours of testimony at a hearing in March on the subject of the SCA money. Unbelievably, Fox was representing himself at that point. (He'd continue to do so until last week.)

At that hearing, I heard Randy Pullen change his testimony from what he'd told the Arizona Capitol Times in October and insist that he hadn't earmarked the SCA funds for county races. I saw Fox using his best amateur lawyerspeak to explain that the money wasn't for a political purpose, even if he gave it to a political party.

But the thing that made the biggest impression on me that day wasn't what anyone said. It was Joel Fox's demeanor.

As I wrote in my notebook at the time, Fox's hands were visibly shaking.

The poor guy, I thought. He's scared to death.

Of course, I felt a lot less sympathetic after I realized that the wily sheriff's captain had lied to my face about Hendershott's involvement. But it's clear to me now that, on some level, Fox was freaked out about screwing this thing up.

He wasn't the bad guy, I think. He was the fall guy.

It was Hendershott who'd made the first contribution to the fund. It was almost certainly Hendershott, if not Arpaio himself, who'd talked to Steve Ellman. Indeed, in a prepared statement, Ellman's attorney, Grant Woods, backed up Fox's assertions that Fox and Ellman have never spoken. Nor did Ellman speak with the GOP about the donations, Woods said.

This wasn't Joel Fox going rogue. This came from the top.

After all, Fox is a guy who's used to taking orders. He worked for Arpaio's campaign in a past election cycle. And plenty of guys in the Sheriff's Office believed his work on that campaign got him to where he is today — earning the promotion that put him in charge of the SWAT team soon after Arpaio's re-election in 2004.

But what's truly the smoking gun, to me, is just how hard the sheriff's associates worked to get out the word about Dan Saban's embarrassing deposition even before the GOP-funded ads.

Saban gave me a three-page set of notes, listing efforts on the part of both Hendershott and the sheriff's lawyer, Dennis Wilenchik, to use the information against him. They are incredibly detailed notes — and Saban has the supporting documentation to prove it all really happened.

Wilenchik really did use information from the deposition to file complaints about Saban with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, then-Governor Janet Napolitano, and the chairman of the board that certifies law enforcement officers in Arizona. He really did file a formal complaint with the Mesa Police Department and he really did attempt to get Saban placed on the Brady List, a roster of local police officers thought to have "integrity issues." (The attempt failed.)

The letters relied on facts that had surfaced in deposition — including the fact that Saban had masturbated on duty in the 1970s.

Interestingly, Wilenchik now represents the Sheriff's Office employees, including Fox and Hendershott, who gave money to the SCA fund.

And Hendershott, too, did his best to disseminate the information in the deposition.

Gerald Richard, a Democrat running for county attorney, is on the record as saying that, in the summer of 2008, Hendershott suggested Richard put in a public-records request for the contents of Saban's deposition. (Hendershott, amazingly, later confirmed the account to the East Valley Tribune.)

That's supposedly how the Arizona Republican Party obtained the depositions that formed the basis for their ads. Party officials have claimed that they heard the rumors and put in a public-records request.

But a political party isn't like an individual. If I pay for copies of public records, you'll never know about it. If a party writes a check, even one for $3, it goes into an official campaign finance report.

There's no record of the party's paying the MCSO for a public-records request, much less paying for videotaped depositions that lasted for hours on end.

And really: Why the heck would Saban's deposition be stored at the Sheriff's Office anyway?

The Sheriff's Office wanted the information about Saban to go public. And it's about time someone got serious about investigating the lengths it went to make sure voters couldn't ignore that information.

Hauser, the elections law expert, says the natural choice to investigate would be the Attorney General's Office. But Attorney General Terry Goddard is still technically "under investigation" in the sheriff's never-ending probe into a payment Goddard's office received in a civil case. (The "investigation" has been open for an astonishing 27 months, with no indictment to date.) Cries of "conflict of interest" could hamstring Goddard's office's efforts to hold Arpaio's people accountable.

Messing, who was appointed by Thomas to look into the mess, could also kick his findings back to Thomas, saying that what he found raised enough questions to warrant a "criminal referral." Thomas would then have to appoint another agency to investigate the case or face serious questions himself.

I asked Messing whether he'd done that. He declined comment.

In the meantime, my colleague Ray Stern has reported that the FBI was contacted by one of his sources — and that it was interested enough to follow up. That source says the FBI was given copies of New Times' coverage of the matter.

There's surely enough here to keep some law enforcement agency busy, Hauser says. "What's needed here, in order to find out if anybody else should be assessed civil penalties, or God forbid, if this warranted a criminal case, there has to be a comprehensive look at the facts," she says. "Someone is going to have to do a lot of interviews."

Investigators may want to start with Lisa Allen — yes, the same flack who merrily insisted last week that this has nothing to do with the Sheriff's Office. I'd recommend the authorities question her about a curious bit of foreshadowing that took place in December 2006.

Just a few days after Christmas, Dan Saban appeared on a radio talk show at the behest of former County Attorney Rick Romley, who was serving as guest host.

The two hadn't intended to take any callers. But when a producer poked his head into the studio to say that the sheriff's spokeswoman was on the line, Romley and Saban figured they might as well take the call.

And what Allen said, I think, offers a clear hint of what was to come.

"When all the cards are on the table," she said, "people are going to find out what a disgraceful person Dan Saban really is."

"I knew right away what she was referring to," Saban says today. "The depositions."

We also know today what was going on behind the scenes at the time of Allen's warning.

Just two months earlier, Joel Fox and Larry Black filed the papers to create two political action committees. And just one month earlier, both Hendershott and Black began making direct deposits into a secret bank account — the account that would become SCA.

Did Lisa Allen know what the officers were planning? Did Hendershott?

The truth, as they say, is out there. And no matter what Lisa Allen says today, I'm convinced it has absolutely everything to do with the Sheriff's Office.

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Former Republican
Former Republican

What a bunch of criminals and these are the same officers who destroy other peoples' lives in heartbeat on a daily basis. We need a recall of the MCAO, MCSO and MCBOS, clean house and start over if Arizona is to selvage itself.

Former Republican 2
Former Republican 2

An obvious omission in all this is, why isn't County Attorney Thomas showing his face on his usual 24/7 grandstanding? His absence on TV on this matter is sending red flags. Why so silent? This whole thing is disgraceful.


After reading the article, I just skimmed through the comments here. In light of the now public disclosure, the names (and dollar amts) of those who contributed to the SCA fund which was then "donated" to the Republican party, here's one from Joel Fox (apparently addressed to writer Fenske) that makes no sense or is doublespeak.

"I never told you that David Hendershott was not an SCA donor. I told you the donations that went to the Republican Party did not come from him or Sheriff Arpaio."


Joel - you've again amused us all with your double talk. In your latest blog entry, you said "You throw words around with no regard whatsoever where they land or what damage might result, and words like "liar" and "scandal" are no exceptions..."

That is exactly what your department does. Check out your own facts. They have accused publicly many innocent people. Is it okay for your department to publicly harm the reputations of dozens of people while you complain about your reputation?


Joel Fox
Joel Fox

Ray,You throw words around with no regard whatsoever where they land or what damage might result, and words like "liar" and "scandal" are no exceptions.

You've given up any sense of journalistic integrity you ever had to keep a job at the New Times. If it was the New York Times, I might understand better...but the New Times? Perhaps you can see why your opinion means nothing to me, nor anyone else, for that matter.

Nonetheless, you still go on about a scandal, yet cannot even allege a crime. You are just doing what has been going on all along...digging to satisfy curiosity. I've explained to you repeatedly what SCA means, and about my conversation with Pullen, and simply because you choose not to believe my answer, you just keep writing new posts that suggest I'm avoiding the questions.

OK, win. You get paid to spend all day writing whatever you want with no regard to the truth, and I simply don't have the time, energy or inclination to continually respond to the same questions.

david saint
david saint

Joel you just dont learn do you. From what i read from one comment of yours, you admit the SCA accounts were opened with a MCSO computer? If so, id say thats a firm association with MCSO, making Allens statement out to be the usual bs she spits, and your spin of the context of that statement just more of the same. Next you try to defend the deaths in the jails. Joel, if you are strapped to a restraint chair, and beaten, tased, and strangled to death by 14 guards wouldnt you want some justice? Rather than what actually happened, like how some have been promoted instead of jailed, and MCSO not only lost the evidence that proved murder (crushed larynx) but tried to play it off as an accident to begin wiht. That instance alone makes joes continued statements of "I uphold the law equally" complete horse shit. To say MCSO doesnt racial profile is lunacy, considering there are documented cases of Americans with brown skin not even asked for papers or ID, just arrested and accused of being illegal. That includes a 12 year old boy pulled from his house and zip tied for hours. Trying to defend that just makes it that much worse, rather than acting like a professional LEA and addressing the problem. But no, politics comes before the law according to MCSO and joe. Which brings me to a quick question. Is it THAT hard to believe that over 100 volunteers, with no certification (IE REAL training), make procedure mistakes during these "sweeps" that can lead to these issues? If the idea is to catch illegals under 287g, why are volunteers, rather than ICE trained deputies, doing the saturation patrols? How do you determine that they didnt join the posse due to hatred of illegals, causing them to involve personal feelings while operating under MCSO's authority? LOL, becuase they say so doesnt count either. Ive seen pictures of some, and recently a video showed a likely posse member covering his license plate with a towel and driving into traffic. SO, because he did it and got away with it, shouldnt I? As for that article that seemingly got you upset, no i wasnt using the article as fact. I was using 2 facts in particular mostly. Those were the demotion of someone who by all accounts did a superb job, for not supporting joe. While you, who helped with the election in some facet, were promoted in their place. Then, when subordinates voiced concerns over lack of training, THEY ARE INVESTIGATED? GOD forbid a cop wanting to put safety first while carrying an automatic rifle, engaging in shootouts in neighborhoods! The fact that you refused to listen to them tells me right off the bat your not a good leader. Being skilled to be on SWAT, and leading it, are 2 completely different animals, and i think as a former ranger you know this. Also, if your going to lay claim to being a former ranger, you might want to remember that oath you took to defend the Constitution, not to mention the oath you took to uphold the laws of this state and its Constitution when you became a cop. Im sure there were words like honor, duty, courage, somewhere in one of those. Just as im sure there wasnt anything about defending arpaio or MCSO employees when they break the law in it either. Personally i think all of MCSO should be canned and start over, but it will never happen. So the best i can hope for is that some of you, who we entrust to uphold the law daily, finally come around and start working for us like your supposed to instead of joe and his version of the law.



I recommend that you come clean with bank statements. I hope that the judge or prosecutor that will have this case subpoenas the bank statements and all record pertaining to that account, including copies of deposits as well as copies of checks cashed. This ought to clear things up.

Unless you'd like to clear your reputation here on the this newspaper and turn over an authorization to release financial information to the New Times so that they can make a request of any and all records on the SCA bank account. This ought to be the same account that had the automatic payroll deposits as well as the one that is claimed to have been circulated among some of those guys in Texas, they just happen to come across this account number and by your account state that they wanted to deposit money to do as you please with it.. right? Yeah, right.

So, Joel.. Are you willing to sign over an auth to release banking information to the New Times so that they can request this info to help clear your name???


How knows about Ellman, he was probably lied to.

But one thing is for sure, ALL the command staff knew what was going on which is obvious by their names on the list.

>>Did Steve Ellman know what you were doing? Did you lie to him about the purpose of this "SCA" bank account? Did ANY of these donors know where the money was really going? If they didn't, why didn;t you tell them the truth?


Okay Joel Fox,One question you HAVEN'T answered but has been asked several times....


Paul Revere
Paul Revere

Well then, Mr. Fox, I'm going to have to insist you pay your retainer fee in full up front. Because if this is your "truth" . . . well like I said, pay in full up front. And here's a real news flash, Jason Rose, Candy Thomas' main election campaign man, just privately announced that we can "expect a major announcement" from Candy in the next 45 days or so . . . And here's my take - Candy is stepping down to announce his run for governor, especially in light of Brewer's wishy-washy announcement that she "might" run for the gov job she fell into. (Candy couldn't run for Guv if she announced she IS running because there's an unsaid rule in the AZ GOP that you don't step on an incumbent's toes . . .) Candy MUST step down to raise one DIME (ala lest he wants the same troubles Mr. Fox finds himself in and can't shut his mouth about) So, add that to the mix Mr. fox - you and Arpaio are about to lose your best ally in Candy (the Bof S will make sure a more astute and capable person takes over, rumors have it as Judge Keppel or maybe even recently retired Judge Sylvia Arellano) And Arpiao will lose his best and only defense - a friendly in-the-pocket shill head persecutor of Nickel Bag Joe's camp ! ! ! Keppel's a natural perfect fit for the job and is a well respected no-nonsense fair-minded jurist with actual major felony trial experience both as a prosecutor and judge - unlike Candy who's had zero felony trial experience and came from the ranks of Phoenix City Court where he was not even respected there. Back to you Mr. Fox - all I can say is the prisons are FULL of those that claim their innocence and the "truth (as they squeeze it) will set them free". Good luck sir.


Juan, quite a diatribe you got yourself on. While I agree in principle with some of what you said, I think you are being unfair with the general population of the state of Arizona. What you read in the national news about the Phoenix basin area certainly is NOT indicative of the behavior of most of the state. You owe us an apology for generalizing in that regard.

You see, Juan, many of us here are working to affect change and make Arizona a better place to live. Yes, we realize we have a long way to go, but we are making strides, and with time I am expecting this to be a much better place to live and visit. I've been to Seattle a number of times and do enjoy the environment and have friends living there.

Now, I have to go out back and bring in the horses for the evening, and I have some cute sheep I am thinking about inviting in for after dinner. Hope you don't mind.

As far as our sports teams go... who knows? Did the Seahawks go to the Super Bowl last year? I guess I missed that one. :-)


the entire nation is already aware of what's going on in arizona. your state's backward antics are hilarious and entertaining to us. I seriously read AZ news on a daily basis because it makes me laugh. I can't believe you guys are actually afraid of arpaio. He wouldn't last two minutes in any REAL city. I am a mexican and I can't imagine why any mexican would consider his life better off by moving to AZ. you might as well just stay in mexico rather than having to work for peanuts for a bunch of dirty trashy people with long dirty hair, tattoos, and pit smell. Come to Seattle. we have something called TECHNOLOGY here. let me explain that in arizona talk. it be computerz n fancy doo hickeys ya'll. we actually have green plants here and not a bunch of anal retentive police who weren't man enough to cut it in any of the civilized states. arpaio acts like AZ is some paradise that needs to be protected from the mexican invasion. your state really cannot get much worse than it already is. lets say all of the mexicans did get deported...then what would you have. you would have 50000 meth users, tweakers, police with the iq's of a 4 year old, and other miscreants. all of you would be so strung out on meth that you wouldn't be able to tend to your cactus gardens or do any of the other work that the mexicans do. "hey pa.....there ain't no more tomaters to put on mah burgers since all them mexicans been deeported." "ain't none of us smart enuff to pick them tomaters so we be hongry." that's what you'll be saying. so basically, quit treating the mexicans as unwanted guests and thank them for being the only people on earth who actually WANT to be anywhere near your trashy selves. oh yeah......the cardinals SUCK. the diamondbacks suck....arpaio is a pussy who should go sit on one of your many cactuses and then think about how the people who he is constantly demeaning have done more than he ever has. Mexicans do a lot of labor work. our contributions to this country aren't just olive gardens on every corner and bad mobster films like arpaio's people's. We actually DO stuff.


>>Hey Ray,

Was actually meant for Joel the Fox.


Hey Ray,

>>Where I come from, you don't call someone else a liar, especially when not just their reputation but their career is at stake, unless you can prove they lied. No one should bear the burden having to prove themselves innocent.

Funny how that works out totally the other way around when it�s Bozo Jokes goons investigating someone else. I know, been there and done that already. So your totally full of shit there.

>>Where I come from, you don't call someone else a liar, especially when not just their reputation but their career is at stake

What career ? I�d say your career in law enforcement is pretty much over, unless of course you continue working with the most corrupt SO in the US, which I�m sure you will continue to be more than welcomed by Fat Boy Hendershott, the Old Man and the rest of the Goons. The MCSO Goons call everyone a liar, (except themselves) all the time, so what�s the big deal�..can�t handle the same medicine your Goon buddies throw around all the time ?

>>You know Hendershott gave an insignificant amount.

Doesn�t matter the amount. The fact is he gave money and YOU lied about it.If I stole 10.00 or 100,000.00 dollars, stealing is stealing. Oh but that�s right, same ethics and morals don�t apply to the Goons at MCSO as they do for everyone else, do they ?

Tell you one thing Joel, you sure got the spin bullshit down pat, is Spinning Bullshit 101 a required educational class for working at MCSO ?


Another fine piece of reporting by Sarah Fenske. Thank you so much for your efforts.

Paul Revere, you make some very good points and Mr. Fox should listen and thank you later, but he won't do either.

He is so enamored by the complexity of the SCA thing, and trying to prove his innocense, or guilt, as may be, that he simply can't see the forest for the trees.

Yes, Sarah, he is the fall guy and it seems most of us see and understand that. Perhaps Mr. Fox will someday look back and see his mistakes, as he tries to cover his mistakes.

The public arguing with those who post here is doing Mr. Fox no good, other than perhaps as an outlet for the stress he is dealing with.

Bottom line: This is just one very small chapter in this novel called arpaio. Fox is just one very small character who will be eliminated when he is no longer able to do arpaio any further good, or at least distract media away from arpaio.

In the meanwhile, the reporting continues and more information is forthcoming, likely along with civil and criminal charges involving a good number of employees of MCSO.

I am thinking some of them must have eaten tainted corn from drop houses.

The MCSO sheriff is mentally ill. Mr. Fox chooses to believe and support a mentally ill person. I suppose that will help him in his new career.


Different subject, but must see. Just got this from Dennis G.

This is some raw footage Adolfo sent me of one of Arpaio's deputies or posse removing American flags from his truck and covering his license plate before he gets to the sweep. Its pretty funny.

Ray Stern
Ray Stern


In my business, you don't use the words "liar" or "lie" lightly. But I don't see any mitigating factors for you on this issue of you writing that none of the money came from Hendershott, which is why I've not minced words.

You stated in writing on the NT site that the money did not come from Hendershott, and then you showed everyone some of the money did come from Hendershott. You need to re-examine the context of your statement about Hendershott -- you specifically referred to the money collected for the SCA over two years.

I can't help but notice that Hendershott hasn't come to your defense, either. Hendershott hasn't even tried to help you bolster your claim that somehow, even though the SCA money was apparently pooled together, none of Hendershott's money made it into the $105,000 to the Republican Party.

As far as why I and others are curious about the name "SCA" -- duh! It's because "Sheriff's Command Association" has a certain ring of "assocation" to it. Haven't you claimed there is no "association" or members of the SCA? Well, then, you've had enough time to come up with something -- go ahead and explain who came up with the name and what it means.

You wrote:"As for Pullen's understanding...I really don't know. If you actually check his testimony to accurately report what was said under oath, you'll see that he confirms that we spoke only once, on the phone. What your question does indicate, however, is that you really don't have much of an understanding of the facts in this case. In other words, there is much you do not know."

As I mentioned, I'm not aware that Pullen redacted what he wrote in the letter to state elections. It was so specific, about the three calls to SCA and the assurances the names were coming. And all you can say is you "don't know" about that? Give us a break. You're essentially accusing Pullen of lying in his letter to state elections.

If you want to know why Pullen wrote that he talked to SCA THREE TIMES and got assurances the names were coming each time, why don't you two get together and hash it out? Because until your two stories match, the public is left with a major discrepancy -- and one that you're apparently unwilling to address.


Joel,after reading your latest post, here are a few more questions:

1. If these people who donated to SCA really thought their money was going for a "boost" to the perception of MCSO, why DIDN'T the money go for that purpose? If they wanted to finance ugly smear ads against Dan Saban, why didn't they just mail in their checks to the Republican party instead of funneling it through your campaign?

2. Do you expect this to just die down and go away? I read the public documents - it appears you've been ordered to turn in the checkbooks for the time period covered by these allegations. Have you done that already?

3. Are you anticipatiing being placed on leave of some sort pending the outcome of any criminal charges against you? How about the others who donated?

4. Are you involved in any way in the MACE operation? If so, what involvement do you have with MACE?

5. Where is the county attorney to investigate fully this matter? Or for that matter, has the Sheriff begun an investigation into you or the others based on the information that is now available to the public?


Joel You have said that none of Hendershott/Black or the other MCSO individuals had their monies sent to the republican party to finance the smear ads.

Why, in fact, did you feel a need to raise money to use for such ugly purposes? Aren't there enough causes out there that don't require such questionable activity?

Did Steve Ellman know what you were doing? Did you lie to him about the purpose of this "SCA" bank account? Did ANY of these donors know where the money was really going? If they didn't, why didn;t you tell them the truth?



Let's say you gave me $10, and Ray game me $10. I put all the money in my pocket. I then go into a store and spend $9 on beer.

Am I spending your $9 or Ray's $9? I probably say I'm spending $4.50 from each.

That's EXACLY the game you're playing with the Hendershott/MCSO big dog money vs the money from others. If it was all in the same pocket (bank account)you're spending some of "everyone who's donated" money.

So yes, many see it as a lie when you say that while Hendershot had given you money to put in your "pocket", not a dime went to the AZ GOP. His money went to the AZ GOP in proportion to the total!

And I've sure a full audit of all SCA funds would say the same thing.

I'm just dumbfounded that Wilencheck hasn't told you to stop commenting here, as you seem to be making claims and statements that could be used against you if this turns into a criminal thing.

Joel Fox
Joel Fox

Ray,Where I come from, you don't call someone else a liar, especially when not just their reputation but their career is at stake, unless you can prove they lied. No one should bear the burden having to prove themselves innocent.You are, of course, free to disagree, and to print your disagreements and questions, but you chose a different path: you outright called me a liar on a point that you know is just your opinion.You know the total amount collected by SCA.You know Hendershott gave an insignificant amount.You know that $100,000 came from donors outside MCSO.You know that we only talked about the donation to SCA, and nobody ever thought to ask if there was other money.Yet you still call Hendershott a "main contributor" and you still say I lied about his involvement in your desperate attempt to justify calling this a "scandal".

Knowingly printing a false statement is malicious, even when it's about a public figure. You know that, too. You also know that failing to correct it after being notified compounds the damage.

And thanks to your many commenters, you can see what your lie does. It changes from just lying about Hendershott to lying about the involvement of all the MCSO participants, which of course, is a misstatement of your lie, let alone a mistatement of the facts, yet it shows the damages that result from such reckless behavior.

I have already forgiven you, Ray, but it does you no good without repentence. You can still fix's just a webpage that you can easily edit.

We corresponded extensively about what SCA stands for, and Sarah even captioned a tiny part that suited her purpose for her article. Yet you write "you never have talked about what the SCA stands for". Another lie.You've never said what difference it would make, despite my asking you three times, and so, enjoy your suspicions.

As for Pullen's understanding...I really don't know. If you actually check his testimony to accurately report what was said under oath, you'll see that he confirms that we spoke only once, on the phone. What your question does indicate, however, is that you really don't have much of an understanding of the facts in this case. In other words, there is much you do not know.

But that doesn't stop you from pretending to know, does it?

EnoughisEnough's attempt to identify crimes fails to identify an actual crime, but since this is the first and only attempt to do so, I think it deserves an answer:

1. Lying to the public regarding the involvement of MCSO I have not lied to the public regarding the involvment of MCSO, and neither has anyone else. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, in it's official capacity, has nothing to do with SCA. Yes, some donors to SCA are employed by MCSO, but nothing was done on duty. Many MCSO employees also give to United Way, but no one would say that the two are in any way intertwined.

2. Coverup of your actions regarding SCA I did not cover up any actions regarding SCA. I was accused of being a politcal committee and I disagree, so I sought a judgment through an impartial hearing, as is my right as a citizen. Contesting charges or allegations is not a cover up.

3. Failure to legally file your "campaign" according to State regulations I still disagree that SCA meets the definition of a political committee, but I did pay a fine of $450 to settle the matter and conclude it. The fine was civil in nature, not criminal, and hardly indicates corruption or a scandal.

4. Failure to provide the public full disclosure into the donors of said campaign I have provided full disclosure of the donors to SCA, following the impartial hearing I mentioned in #2.

5. Trying to HIDE donations made for an illegal purpose The donations were not made for an illegal purpose, and there has never been any allegation that there was. The investigation found no earmarking and no tie to the ad that everyone is so fired up about. If you can remove the assumption that SCA paid for an ad that it did not pay for, you will see that there is nothing illegal.

6. Money Laundering? Isn't that what they call what you did when you "separated" according to your words above, the donations made by MCSO brass from the others (i.e. Steve Ellman, etc.) Money laundering involves taking the illicit proceeds from an offense and converting it into seemingly legitimate income for a fee. There is nothing whatsoever about this case that even remotely suggests money laundering. The money donated to SCA did not come from ill gotten gains, it was not converted into anything, and I received no compensation for it. I also did not separate the donations made by MCSO "brass" from the others. I simply said that none of Hendershott's money was sent to the party. Ray still accuses me of lying because I said none of the money came from Arpaio, Hendershott or Arpaio's campaign, and the sole support for calling this whole thing a scandal seems to be that Hendershott gave about 2k to SCA, even though SCA had more than 112K altogether. You (and some others) have embellished this accusation of lying to include the rest of the MCSO donors, but it, like the rest of the allegations, has no basis in fact.

For PaulRevere and others concerned about my responses, you need not worry. My story has never changed and it will never change because it is the truth. If I do end up facing criminal charges, my story in court will be the same story I have told here. You see, with the truth, it does not change, and so of course everything I write here will be used in court because it is the same story.

I must say that I do find it interesting that after the lot of you condemn, convict and sentence me, all the while accusing me of a cover up, and criticizing others for not coming forward and answering your questions that you now want me to stop. Had I not answered your questions, you would have criticized me for hiding, but since I do answer your questions, you accuse me of being a fool. Perhaps you fear that the intelligent reader will consider my words and see this so called journalism as nothing more than the conjecture and trash that it is?


Absolutely, this has been going on with Bozo Joke Arpaio and the Goons for years...

But I have a feeling this is all going to come to an abrupt end for the MCSO Goons real soon...

>>By the way, I resent and challenge you to tell the public WHY you believe this should not have been investigated by the infamous MACE unit PRIOR to it being dragged through the courts. It sounds like selective prosecution of others to me. Anybody else agree?

Jane D
Jane D

Joel says he is being represented by Wilenshit. But Wilenshit already represents MCSO on a few cases, now doesn't he? So, is Wilenshit just adding criminal defense repesentation to the bill under a different billing scenario? There are 6 or more MCSO people involved. Wilenshit is doing that for free? Hopefully the records requests are already pouring in - if Fox is lying about there being no taxpayer expense to defend him or the others, it will be very evident when the bill is due to be paid. I think Andrew Thomas should resign to run for Governor. After he loses that election, he can seek shelter in a law firm. Maybe then he'll get some attorney experience with actual cases.

Paul Revere
Paul Revere

Joel, for the love of God, shut up ! ! ! I am a lawyer and you're a lawyer's worst nightmare soon-to-be client ! ! ! Let's get some things very clear - you ARE going to be charged criminally (whether you choose to believe that or not is irrelevant). And you ARE your own worst enemy ! ! ! And after reading all your nonsense, twisted arguments and outright false statements, the very cronies you're trying so hard to protect will be forced to abandon you and leave you swinging in the wind ! ! Your statemetns here will come back to haunt you ! ! They can be used in a court of law when they are traced back to you (what will you do, DENY these satements as yours, yet make the same claims in your own defense? ? ? or, worse yet, make OTHER different claims in your defense? ? ?) If you're speaking the "truth" here, you'll be stuck with these statements anyways ! ! Good God, man, shut up ! ! ! (and don't think the cronies you're defending will help you, they won't - and remember, the potential criminal charges you'll eventually be facing have a long statute of limitations time . . . Longer than your corrupt cronies will ever be in office (Thomas will be gone soon enough by his own volition when he steps down to run for Guv, he's just trying mastermind who'll step into his steed - which is an unreported "battle" already looming within the BofS chambers and his office - and when this County gets a REAL Sheriff, you'll be target "A" on a long, long list of domino effect to clean up Maricopa County politics. Just friendly "free" legal advice (unlike the tax payer paid representation you all are already getting) ! ! !

Bill L
Bill L

Fox says None of the money came from Arpaio,or Hendershott or Arpaio's campaign, or anyone associated with Arpaio's campaign, nor did it come from any corporation or labor organization or any other illegal contributor. It was all private funds, solicited over a period of about 2 years.

Now it is uncovered that is EXACTLY WHERE THE MONEY came from. Hendershott, MCSO captains and Joel Fox.

Corruption, campaign finance fraud, money laundering and donations exceeding the maximum amount allowed. All of which warrant criminal investigation and criminal charges.

It isn't good enough to just pay a fine and be forced to do the right thing in terms of public disclosure. These actions were and are illegal. Let's get the prosecution started. I smell a cannonball starting here.


Joel Joel Joel - Your lies are now legendary. You doth protest too much, I'm afraid. Now you have set in stone the story of how you separated funds you solicited - the good guys from your office (I guess that includes you, eh?) - their money went for "legal" purposes while the other bad guys - their money went for the illegal smear ads.You are a farce and so is the rest of your group. You have absolutely no credibility and should not be allowed to carry a letter opener much less a weapon. And you are charged with enforcing the laws of this County? You have used extremely bad judgement - perhaps the public needs protection from the likes of you. I can't wait until you are called upon to use your background in a court of law. I believe anything you would do at this point would be challenged. You tried to hide your actions from the public - llies on top of lies - and this carefullly orchestrated scheme within MCSO may in fact be what brings the whole lot of you down. You have no business in law enforcement. Your actions have spoken much louder than your words. I hope you and all involved are subjected to a crininal trial. Let's see what 12 average folks feel about your criminal actions.


Joel Fox continues to ask the readers of this story exactly WHAT types of crimes they think he may have committed. Okay Joel, here goes:1. Lying to the public regarding the involvement of MCSO2. Coverup of your actions regarding SCA3. Failure to legally file your "campaign" according to State regulations4. Failure to provide the public full disclosure into the donors of said campaign5. Trying to HIDE donations made for an illegal purpose6. Money Laundering? Isn't that what they call what you did when you "separated" according to your words above, the donations made by MCSO brass from the others (i.e. Steve Ellman, etc.)

You want the public to believe that Ellmans money and outher "outsider" money was the money spent to run the smear ads while Hendershott, Black, yours and the other monies donated went to ...what....administrative costs? Fundraising expenses?

Joel, you have gotten yourself knee deep with your own lies. Anything you do at this point short of resigning looks like further cover up. I will NOT be surprised if, after the checkbooks and money trail is examined further, you don;'t end up with some felony indictments, along with others on the MCSO staff.

By the way, I resent and challenge you to tell the public WHY you believe this should not have been investigated by the infamous MACE unit PRIOR to it being dragged through the courts. It sounds like selective prosecution of others to me. Anybody else agree? It takes the actions of MCSO and shows how selectively they harass others while covering up for their own.



Leonard Stop with your damn spam.. we're all sick of it.

If you want to see Arpaio recalled then I suggest that you not do it. I would like to join a recall movement but not with a lunatic like you at the head. You, my dear man, are nuts.

First of all, you come across as crazy as Arpaio; like a foaming at the mouth hyperactive kid who can�t stop jumping up and down. If I�d known you in grammar school I probably would�ve kicked your ass because I hated hyper kids like you.

Secondly, everything you�ve done in the past smells of mental instability:In 2000 you ran for the state senate and everyone laughed at you.** In 2002 you ran for the legislature and you lost miserably.** You ran for Glendale City council several times and lost. You show up to most Glendale city council meetings and always made asinine comments in every public comment section of the council meetings. Didn�t you ever notice that even the members of the city council rolled their eyes every time you�d take the microphone?** In 2004 you ran for the state house of representatives as a clean elections candidate and didn�t have the community support to collect enough $5 dollar contributions therefore could not qualify to get funded by clean elections.** In 2005 you went to serve in the war in Iraq and kept sharing secret information putting your fellow officers at risk and blogging about how terrible it was being in the war while showing complete disrespect for your fellow soldier and ultimately got arrested and thrown in the brig and dishonorably discharged.** In 2006 you ran against John McCain using a stupid campaign committee name and slogan: The Damn Liberal Inner City School Teacher Desert Storm/Iraq War III Vet and Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate in Arizona:IMPEACH THE KING: GEORGE W. BUSH ! NOT ONE MORE OF MY FELLOW AMERICAN SOLDIERS SHOULD BE KILLED IN IRAQ! N.O. M.A.S. !** In 2007 you and your crazy lunatic no teeth hillbilly friend William Crum launched a recall on John McCain and Jon Kyl. You filed but never got the support to put it on the ballot.** In 2008 you ran for the house of rep. in the state legislature on one of the most ridiculous committee names I�ve ever seen: LEONARD CLARK AND ARIZONANS FOR IMPEACHMENT OF KING BUSH! Again you could not raise any funds therefore your political signs were photocopies of hand-made signs accusing the speaker of the house of being a child molester. They looked like a dyslexic grade school kid wrote it with his feet and they were taped all over magazine racks and phone booths, it was ridiculous.** Now in 2009 you have this ?? Oh, jeeeze!

What I�m trying to tell you is that you have zero credibility, everyone knows you never succeed at anything you do, you have a track record of being crazy.

If you are serious in having Arpaio recalled you should let some one else take it on - any one but you because with you heading the recall effort many like myself will not sign up. I don�t wanna be associated with you yet I want to see Arpaio recalled.

Having you as a spokesperson of this recall is like having ... (OMG, I can�t think of anything more outrageous !! that�s how bad it is.)

Can�t you just step aside so that a real effort can take place? Do you even know what it would take to get this on the ballot? The signatures needed? The amount of money needed IF it gets on the ballot to launch a campaign and also a candidate to fill in� you�re such a dimwit, I don�t think you�ve thought that far ahead, albeit.

Leonard, you need help and the last thing we need is for you to be a spokesperson for this, you�re crazy. Go take your meds and get off this soap box.. it�s not your soap box so step off.

p.s. I still wish I would've known you in grammar school; I'd teach you a lesson.

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Joel, I called you a liar because you wrote that line about the money not coming from Hendershott, when we now know it did. I'm just going by the best evidence available.

All we know is that the $105,000 came from the same pool of money to which Hendershott and the others gave. You haven't proved Hendershott's money -- which rolled into the SCA account over two years -- can be distinguished from the $105,000 donation to the Republican Party. Maybe you didn't lie -- but it sure looks you did. Your Hendershott statement resembles a bald-faced lie so well, you'll just have to forgive me and any other reader who thinks it's a lie.

"I am done talking about what SCA stands for with you," you say. Yet you never have talked about what the SCA stands for -- it's one of the things you absolutely refuse to talk about. But it stands for something, that much is obvious! It seems you're just not interested in telling the truth about where the name came from. Your credibility is stretched to the breaking point on this issue.

"I did take the call from Chairman Pullen, and I have no idea why he would characterize our conversation as an assurance that donor's names were coming. I felt assured that my money would be returned."

When Pullen wrote that letter about you giving him assurance you'd reveal the names, the conversation was still pretty fresh -- it had happened just a few weeks before. Now you're claiming he mis-remembered what happened.

But here's the funny part: Pullen's October 31 letter says the SCA was contacted TWICE before the Saban smear ad ran, and each time Pullen says he was told the names were coming.

Pullen then wrote he called the SCA a third time and was again assured the names were coming. (Access Pullen's letter from our November 7 blog post:

Later, Pullen called you on October 7 and asked you for the names, and you asked him why it was necessary, the letter says.

So here's another question for you, Joel: If you'd talk to Pullen three times by then, why did you ask if divulging the names was necessary on Pullen's FOURTH conversation with you?

Then again, Pullen doesn't say who he talked to the first three times. For all we know, he was talking to Hendershott or Steve Ellman on one of those occasions.

So to recap, you say you "took the call" from Pullen. Who was Pullen talking to the other two times (before the 10-7 phone call)?

And why would Pullen be so stupid as to think he was getting assurances the names were coming on no less than three separate occasions? Honestly, we think Pullen's memory is better than that. Someone gave him assurances, even if you "have no idea" why Pullen would claim he received assurances.

Three assurances the names would come, Pullen says, Joel -- three.

Pullen hasn't retracted the statements he made in the October 31 letter, and if he does, it would be interesting to hear how he could get the point of those three conversations so wrong.


Hey Joel, are your eyes brown ?

Because you are so full of shit they have to be.


This is my favorite spin of them all.

"I can say that the death rate and suicide rate is higher outside jail than inside, and I can also say that most, if not all, of our problems in the jail are directly related to Correctional Health, which is not part of MCSO, and not part of the Sheriff's responsibility. "

So, Joel, you are saying that the death of Juan Mendoza Farias was Correctional Health's fault? How about the inmate that was beaten to death while a guard was on his cell phone? What about Scott Neurnburg (sp?), not "your" fault? The bullshit and cover ups have been going on for years and you really expect people to believe what comes out of any of MCSO Brass mouths'. You, sir, are a fool and I hope when it all caves in you are on the bottom taking the full brunt of it. At first I felt bad for you, I thought you were the fall guy. You should have never posted on NT, because now we all see you for who you really are. A piece of shit fool, hiding behind Arpaio and Hendershott.


Joel.. OK, now I see Ray's post - you must have been responding to that.

As a mature adult, I'll admit I was wrong, and take my lumps.

Will you?


Joel, why are you addressing your comment to Ray, as Sarah was the author of this piece? Seems you are confused, yet again... Not surprised, as you've seem very confused in all your posts. The only one that believes you is you!

As far as "scandal or corruption", neither dictate a crime. That's up to PROFESSIONAL Law enforcement to determine - the AG, the FBI, the DOJ, etc.

We know that MACE/Hendershott/Thomas don't in any way indicate professionals. Just folks to seek vengeance on a perceived threat.

So how's Wilenchek working out as your lawyer? Is he advising you to comment in public? Seems you still have a fool for a lawyer.

Joel Fox
Joel Fox

Ray,We've corresponded about this already, and I suppose you simply refuse to accept anything contrary to your forgone conclusions, but all we ever talked about, prior to donor's names being released, is the $105,000 donation to the party. I never discussed other donations to SCA, and nobody ever asked me about other donations to SCA.

None of the $105,000 that I sent to the party belonged to Arpaio or Hendershott or Arpaio's campaign.

"Proven liar" implies you have some proof. Can you prove that David Hendershott's money was part of the $105,000? Or is it just your opinion that money in a bank account cannot be segregated?

I am done talking about what SCA stands for with you. Enjoy the suspicions.

I did take the call from Chairman Pullen, and I have no idea why he would characterize our conversation as an assurance that donor's names were coming. I felt assured that my money would be returned.

If you review Chairman Pullen's testimony at the hearing, (which is a public record) you will not find him saying that he asked me several times for the names of contributors. Writing that Pullen said under oath that I was asked several times for the names is a lie.

If are to call me a liar over your disputed opinions, I would think you could at least fact check your articles.

If you can quote from many of my comments, why can't you quote any other comments of crimes that have been committed? Simply saying that they exist doesn't say anything, except that you know they don't, and you hope your readers are too stupid to check.

If other readers, or comments, or any other person has actually suggested a criminal violation that they think occurred, why don't you print it? And if you can't identify a crime, why do you insist on referring to this as a "scandal" or corruption?

You are attempting to manipulate people, and you know it.


MCSO and Joel many lies and so little time to tell them all...

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

Joel Fox is a proven liar. Before he was forced to expose the names of the SCA due to threat of a $315,000 fine, he wrote this on our blog about the money collected in the bank account over two years:

"None of the money came from Arpaio,or Hendershott or Arpaio's campaign, or anyone associated with Arpaio's campaign, nor did it come from any corporation or labor organization or any other illegal contributor. It was all private funds, solicited over a period of about 2 years."

The meaning of "SCA" is obviously a key to something here, which seems to be why Joel is still keeping secrets. Who came up with the name SCA and what does it stand for? It's suspicious to me that he wants to talk about everything but that.

I believe readers have suggested what crimes may have occurred, so maybe Joel should go back and check those comments. Also, the readers are right -- the sheriff's office habitually throws suspicion around without naming a crime. That's what is happening to Mary Rose Wilcox right now, so for Captain Joel Fox of the sheriff's office to complain about being treated like his office treats others, well, this is another area where Joel is full of bull.

Another area Joel is being disingenuous is where he says:

"Pullen never "said under oath that he asked me several times for the names of contributors", and never said that I refused to provide them. Your statement is simply false. If you actually review the record in the case, what he said under oath was that we had a single phone conversation in which he asked for the names and said the money would be returned if he didn't get them."

Here is how I previously summarized the letter from Pullen about this situation:

"Pullen says the party requested the names of the donors behind SCA and 'were assured we would receive them.' They asked again on September 29 and 'were told it was coming.'On October 2, the due date for the post-primary report, Pullen and crew "asked again." With no response, the party decided to file its report late to give the generous benefactors a few more days to cough up some names of donors. Finally, on October 6, Pullen writes that he decided to call 'Mr.' Joel Fox."

I believe that Joel has since written in his comment that he was the one who had taken Pullen's initial calls. If Joel took the call and "assured" Pullen the names would be coming, he lied to Pullen. If someone other than Joel "assured" Pullen the names were coming, who was it?

Peter Z
Peter Z

To all the readers of this ongoing saga regarding Joel Fox and the SCA/MCSO involvement. I suggest you contact your local FBI office and talk to investigators - request that the corruption by this supposed Law Enforcement Agency be investigated. You pay your taxes. You are entitled to protection against this farce called the anti corruption task force - a shield the MCSO has been hiding behind since it came into being. When law enforcement not only tries to hide corruption within its own department - but fails to treat wrongdoing equally (even when it involves several of their own), there is a real smell of coverup. Also, contact your county elections department to get the information on this campaign. Now it is time to see the checkbooks from this so called mistake that Joel Fox would like us to believe transpired. Perhaps many more answers will be provided once the checkbooks are open. Also, I have no idea why search warrants were not issued with relation to the entire SCA campaign. Perhaps that is coming. Campaign Finance Fraud is Campaign Finance Fraud. Period. No different for Joel Fox and the others than it is for any other registered campaign in the State of Arizona. Why are we even being subjected to this sort of trickery? I looked on the Sheriff's website and did not see any press releases regarding this whole ordeal? Why is he so silent about this? How about the County Attorney? Could it be that the checkbooks will find some of his attorneys donating to this campaign that financed the ugly ads against another candidate illegally? I still cannot believe that Joel Fox continues to state that there is no problem here. It is hard to imagine that someone with a professional law enforcement background would continue to lie and try to cover tracks even after all these donations have been exposed. When does he finally turn and admit that this was a clear violation from the beginning?


This quote is fantastic from Joel Fox = "MCSO deputies are not racists, not murderers, and are not corrupt, and despite non stop pressure from special interest groups, local media, and self promoting democrats for over 16 YEARS, nobody has ever come up with one shred of any evidence to support their many accusations."


shawn R
shawn R

Again, say" Every single accusation against MCSO comes from a person either with an ax to grind, or with a political agenda". Not true at all. What ax to grind would elections have with you? They were notified by the State of your SCA activities..YOU never attempted to prepare proper filings until you were caught. THEY have an ax to grind with you? And if you do something illegal, it's SOMEBODY ELSE that has a vendetta against the Sheriff's office? You cry foul but you brought ALL of this on yourself. You deserve a full scale outside investigation. At what point are you opening up the checkbooks from your "campaign" for SCA? Is Elections still waiting for that one? That should provide even more answers as the money trail is followed. And finally..if everything is great except for a bunch of naysayers..why DID you wait for so long, and try so hard to keep the donors names from the public? It's okay for everybody else to have their political donors named but not you? What pretense were you using to justify that? You wanted the donors to remain secret so THEY wouldn't bear any of this burden? What were you afraid of, that this would turn into the circus it has already turned into?


Joel.....go back and look at what you have written. You have said that "I've been challenging readers and writers on these blogs for days now to identify a crime that was committed. Chad, even if MACE could investigate this case, what crime would you allege? Are you expecting to call the police and say "something fishy is going on should investigate"?Since when does the MACE Task force have to have any concrete allegations? They have a political agenda and have spent countless man hours and resources harassing people. Just recently they visited the homes of donors of another politicians campaign (for a non paying office) to speak to folks about whether any promises were made. Why haven't your donors been visited by deputies? Why haven't we heard the word "criminal investigation" associated with your name yet? Look at the Attorney General - 27 months of being under "criminal suspicion" according to MACE. And look at the county folks (I believe there are 37 of them) - recently visited at home in the evenings by deputies to question them about listening devices within the County building. And you will try to tell us all that YOUR case lacks any merit? WHO do you think YOU are writing to? A bunch of idiots? What is good for the rest of Maricopa County is good for you. If the Sheriff did NOT know where this money was going (to a campaign that failed to file the proper paperwork) then where is the sense of justice in failing to open a full scale media "investigation" as he has done on so many others? Where are the press conferences like he held along with Andrew Thomas on other folks? I recently read that the Sheriff sent a letter to the Secret Service "alerting" them to another politican's upcoming trip to Washington. Where are the warnings issued about you? Are you getting preferrential treatment because Hendershott and the other Chiefs are involved? Surely you have been advised that criminal charges could result from your activities. Isn't that enough to warrant a full outside investigation by someone other than the same folks who benefited from your actions? Each time I've read the paper about something the Sheriff is "investigating" the media is alerted, the "cloud of suspicion" goes out to the public. Who are you to be treated differently? about that Brady List? Are you on it? Do you testify at any trials? If you do, I'd like to be there. And lastly..are you involved in Joe's latest campaign for funds for another election? if so....we can all sit back and have a good laugh. If Steve Ellman or the other "donors" who were over the maximum have to pay a fine, are YOU paying it? Any chance that you'll be involved in politics in the future?


Joel,you ARE mistaken, I'm afraid. The donors who gave, OVER THE MAXIMUM, and to funnel money for a smear campaign ARE crooks. Plain and simple. You, and all the rest of the donors need to be held accountable. And you talk about bad media? YOU????? How about the media you worked to finance to smear the Saban campaign? How is that for bad media? You are a wart on the nose of Maricopa County. Try getting another job in law enforcement...after your illegal activities were all over the net, I hope you find another career, because you are NOT an honest, above board le officer. You lied, you covered up and now you are trying to cover up some more. I'm waiting for the criminal subpoenas to fly........................................


I love the follow up story.. I wonder how you can put it back on the front page.. the follow up deserves some mention in the front page regarding combing over the campaign fiance reports and finding that many many contributions come from MCSO employees.


In case others can't find it.. I commented on it and then couldn't find it later.

Don't forget to look at the expenses that Joe paid out for his campaign. Those are fishy too. There's one in particular:

The last page (expenditure report) on the top one the expenditure for food and beverage is for $653 or something like that. The name of the business is a pet grooming business yet when you google the address on Agave drive you'll see it's a private residence and you look up the address on the county assessor's office you'll see that the home is registered to Lisa McPherson.. Could this be our Lisa Allen McPherson?

Here's the list.. these take a while to investigate.. have fun!This one is 40 pages longhttp://


They are, the show is called Reno 911.

>>" MCSO is not corrupt" how can you say this with a straight face? why arent you and your band of merry men on comedy central?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

These power abusers in a position of trust do belong in Tent City. People have been sent there for hardly anything and who is allowing this abuse to go on while the taxpayers foot the bill? Where's the County Attorney protecting the people's interest and safety? Or is this like the New Jersey group - someone from the outside has to take them all down since they're all in it together?


wow does joel sound scared, EXPOSED TO THE PUBLIC that is what you get for getting involved with dishonest crooked thugs. " MCSO is not corrupt" how can you say this with a straight face? why arent you and your band of merry men on comedy central? YOu got greedy for promotion, and got caught, I think article well written and the ONLY place to get the truth is Phoenix NEW Times, !!this group deserves to be in tent city, try and get them there by August.

Joel Fox
Joel Fox

Well, I certainly hope you're not afraid of me, Chad. I'm not a very scary guy.

FormerRepublican finally used the right word. "Embattled". Yes the MCSO is embattled, not because of anything wrong, but because of different people's various political agendas over the years and most of it is complete foolishness.

MCSO deputies are not racists, not murderers, and are not corrupt, and despite non stop pressure from special interest groups, local media, and self promoting democrats for over 16 YEARS, nobody has ever come up with one shred of any evidence to support their many accusations.

I'm not saying that we are perfect, and I am not saying that an occasional bad apple doesn't make it through the stringent hiring process. Every last one of us is human, and we are prone to the same errors and misjudgments that any other human is prone to, but that does not justify vilifying those mistakes to your political advantage.

Every single accusation against MCSO comes from a person either with an ax to grind, or with a political agenda. And if they happen to be in the media, they use passionate and inflammatory language to encourage continued readership. If you think the New Times or Ray Stern or Sarah Fenske is writing any of this because they are somehow "standing up" against corruption, you are sadly mistaken. His posts are carefully crafted to elicit the most emotional response possible because he knows the more emotional you are, the more likely you will come back... and the more visitors he gets to the site, the more they charge for advertising.

The only exception would be those who have lost friends and family members while they were in MCSO custody. I have never worked a jail, but I do know that ANY death or injury that occurs in a jail is a tragedy and, in a perfect world, preventable. It is our goal to prevent every death and every injury of any person in our custody, and I know we have not been successful in that goal, no matter how much I wish we were. I cannot make any excuses for it, and no excuse would ever be good enough.

I can say that the death rate and suicide rate is higher outside jail than inside, and I can also say that most, if not all, of our problems in the jail are directly related to Correctional Health, which is not part of MCSO, and not part of the Sheriff's responsibility. MCSO has tried to have control over Correctional Health, but the Board of Supervisors has denied it, so we remain a "customer" of theirs, and a not very happy one at that. It seems to me that things have gotten better lately, but I think there is still a long way to go.I also do not believe that MCSO jails are worse than similar sized jails, and are in fact better, both in health related issues, and in inmate care. The campaign claims of MCSO suffering more lawsuits than the other top 4 jails in the country was an absolute lie, and easily verified on the internet. Search for jails in LA, Chicago, and Houston and you will see huge differences in the amounts of lawsuits paid out, and MCSO is easily the lowest, using any time period over the past 16 years of Arpaio's control.

Here again...basing your opinions of MCSO on newspaper articles will result in false conclusions.

Anyone with any sense will know that neither Arpaio nor Thomas can investigate anything to do with SCA. If either of them determined that no charges should be filed, the cries of cover up and corruption would just get louder. These men are politicians, after all, and not stupid.

Speaking of stupid, perhaps we could be a bit more careful throwing words like "corruption" around. There was a big case that just broke in New Jersey that involved should read about it, so you can get an idea of what corruption really is.

I've been challenging readers and writers on these blogs for days now to identify a crime that was committed. Chad, even if MACE could investigate this case, what crime would you allege? Are you expecting to call the police and say "something fishy is going on should investigate"?

As an attorney, you should know better than anyone's the crime?

And for the rest of you, if you can't even identify a crime, perhaps you could refrain from shouting corruption so are living up to the lynch mob mentality that I predicted, but nonetheless, it just makes you look more prejudice than the people you are calling prejudiced.

And finally, for the umpteenth time, nothing I have ever done in relation to SCA or this case was on duty. I attended the hearings on my own time, prepared my case on my own time, and even responded to the media on my own time. I drove my own car to the hearings, used my own gas, had papers I printed from own computer in file folders I bought at Staples (since Office Depot has the county contract)and even wore my own suit.The direct deposits would have to be set up at work, but those take less than 2 minutes, and can only be done from a work computer because it is a county intra-net site, accessible only from a county networked computer. The same would be done if an employee opened a new savings account, or IRA or college fund, or any other human resources type function. Employees get two 15 minute breaks per day, and must set up their own direct deposits.It would not be possible to use taxpayer money to pay for attorneys under these circumstances. All such expenditures would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors (which means it would also be a public record) and could only occur if there were legal challenges to duties performed in their official capacity, AND conflicted out by the County Attorney. Neither is true in this case.Any suggestion that taxpayer money is being used in this case is preposterous, and easily verified. If it were the case, I can assure you Ray would be writing about it.

I really wish you folks with such vehement opinions would at least read what is already on this very website before continuing to ask the same questions over and over. The fact that you're asking the questions just proves that you don't really know what you're talking about and you're jumping to conclusions unsupported by any facts. While I already know this to be true, I wouldn't think you'd want to broadcast it to the rest of the world.

Free Hal Turner
Free Hal Turner

I think it is time for the home addresses of Fox, Allen, Henderblimp and others to be released. Watch this space.....

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Joel Fox,

If everything was so on the up-and-up like you claim, why did you go to such great lengths to keep the list of donors to SCA secret for so long? Why did it take the threat of a $315,000.00 fine for you to finally cough up the list? Why did the Republican Party feel compelled to return your dirty money? Why did the independent counsel and the judge find that what you'd done was wrong? You just don't get it - Arpaio and his cronies have lied to us so many times for so long, that you all have ZERO credibility. We are not all that stupid - 45% of us know better.

You all must feel like that scene in Star Wars where Luke, Han, Leia, and the Wookie (Hendershott) are in the trash room, surrounded by shit, with the walls closing in.

As Adolfo says, my name is Chad Snow and I'm not afraid of you.

Shawn R
Shawn R

Will Fox and the others who are suspected of criminal activity be placed on the BRADY LIST? Surely the lies told by these so called "professional law officers" would place any court case in which they testify in jeopardy.Also, can someone please tell me WHERE the infamous Andrew Thomas is with an investigation of this whole sad tale? He was quick, along with the Sheriff, to announce investigation after investigation to the media - very few of them ever coming to fruition.....where is this coward now when he supposedly runs the TASK FORCE along with Arpaio? And, if Arpaio really didn't have any knowledge of this, why isn't HE launching a full scale investigation. If it weren't so pathetic it would be funny. This thing stinks of criminal violations and corruption. I agree with the other writers to get rid of all of them. They have no business enforcing laws that they break themselves.


This scenario just keeps getting worse and worse. How can a department so embattled like the Sheriff's office continue to operate for the good of the people? This office, if I remember correctly, was never intended to abuse and harass - it's purpose is to provide professional law enforcement. The entire kingdom appears to be folding...with corruption and perhaps criminal charges lurking around the corner for some fairly high level MCSO officers it would appear that the time has come to investigate fully the entire appearance of corruption within the Sheriff's office. Federal law enforcement officers will be needed to sort out this SCA fiasco....there appears to be enough here to raise reasonable suspicion of criminal activity . If that activity is verified, I think there is no alternative but to send all these folks to the federal grand jury. There is no TRUST and no integrity within the MCSO and I'm pretty sure Arpaio must be feeling that now.

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