By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"You've got to be kidding."
That's what Don Stapley said as sheriff's deputies arrested him September 21 in the county parking garage. The county supervisor was so stunned, he said nearly the same thing, again, just a moment later: "You have got to be joking."
Someone at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office thought Stapley's quote was sufficiently amusing to include in the press release announcing his arrest later that day. It's the sort of embarrassing detail these guys delight in providing to reporters: "This guy's so arrogant, we came to arrest him on 100 criminal counts, and he thinks we're kidding! Can you believe it?"
But, two weeks later, the comment that once drew chuckles now seems downright prescient.
They had to be kidding — but they were not.
They actually arrested Don Stapley without an indictment, without a grand jury, without even consulting a prosecutor. In fact, they cuffed a county supervisor and hauled him off to court without bothering to secure charges against him.
Two weeks after the chaos of the arrest, the situation is clear: Maricopa County is captive to the whims of a police force all too eager to use its powers to harass its enemies and distract us from its manifold failures.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's men arrested Don Stapley not in the interest of justice, but to save face after a previous case against Stapley fell apart. They made up an excuse to parade him in front of television cameras, then insinuated that he was guilty of all sorts of crimes they'd never bothered to get an indictment for.
When the prosecutor ostensibly assigned to the case expressed reservation about those tactics, Arpaio's BFF, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, suddenly appointed new prosecutors to go after Stapley. Naturally, they were a pair of D.C.-based pundits more familiar with the Fox News studio than the politics of this county.
Surely, they must be kidding.
Don Stapley's bizarre arrest two weeks ago wasn't the first time that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas sought to arrest the county supervisor. It was merely the first time they succeeded.
Last December, a joint investigation by Thomas and Arpaio led to a 118-count indictment against Stapley, a Republican representing the East Valley.
As I wrote at the time, the charges against Stapley were overkill: He faced more than a decade in prison for what amounted to an error in paperwork. Meanwhile, Sheriff Arpaio made the same mistakes, with no repercussions.
But if the indictment was fairly silly, well, at least in that case they bothered to get one.
In 2008, procedure was followed: The Sheriff's Office developed a case and brought it to the County Attorney's Office, which took it to the grand jury, which issued an indictment. As everyone knows, a grand jury will indict anything from a ham sandwich to a can of tuna fish — it's not a sign of guilt. But at least it forces the prosecutors to make a case.
Last December, after the indictment, Thomas' office took the indictment to a judge, seeking a warrant for Stapley's arrest.
The judge refused.
Stapley, after all, holds public office in the same county that was prosecuting him. He wasn't a flight risk. Given a summons to court, the judge knew that he'd surely turn himself in.
When, at the judge's insistence, the summons was issued instead of an arrest warrant, go figure: Stapley did turn himself in. The system worked just the way it was supposed to.
For everyone, that is, except Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Thomas.
Thanks to the judge's denial, they missed their chance to parade a handcuffed Stapley past a leering mob of TV news crews. In the news business, we call this a "perp walk." There's no better way to humiliate a well-known defendant — or get free airtime for publicity-grubbing pols like Arpaio and Thomas.
But if Stapley didn't have to do the perp walk last December, well, the sheriff would see to it that Stapley was forced to do it eventually.
And on September 21, Arpaio got his chance. This time, there was no judge to speak on behalf of reason. The sheriff had skipped that step.
He did it on a technicality: An exception on the books allows cops to arrest a suspect, even if they haven't had time consult with a prosecutor. It's called a "probable cause arrest," and the cops use it to, say, arrest people caught in the act of robbing a bank — or in the robbery's immediate aftermath, when the suspect may well flee.
So the cop arrests the suspect and makes a "probable cause" statement: I think this man robbed a bank because I caught him standing outside it with $1 million in cash. The prosecutors then have 48 hours to follow up with an indictment, or a direct complaint: We, the State of Arizona, charge this man with bank robbery.
A probable cause arrest is rarely, if ever, made in a white-collar case. In fact, the only one in recent decades that anyone in Arizona may recall was the Sheriff's Office's arresting the owners of this newspaper, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, for supposedly violating grand jury secrecy. And we all know how that one turned out.
No different in Yavapai County. What can citizens do? There is real abuse of power. Does anyone recall the US Constitution?
Coz says: Quote: "52% of Arizona Voters have the IQ of a rock to vote Bozo Joe Arpaio & Thomas back into office.
Amazes me how so many people continue to allow these thugs to turn Maricopa County into another Nazi Germany.
Maybe it's time for another Boston Tea Party._____
I am from Germany and I know:
NAZI Germany could prosper because people voted for the NAZIS (76 years ago) and on the end the NAZIS turned against it's own people. ( similarity - God forbid! ) AND European Companies - especially from Germany have learned from the past.
Some European companies I know of do not want to come to AZ because of the "Wild West" mentality and the ridiculous behavior of some - of course not all - people in jurisdiction - and executive government positions.
One high ranking executive of a large company (15000 employees) responsible for the NEXT expansion into the USA feels - Quote: " That especially AZ - Phoenix is a city with lots of people in police and law positions which do not make wise decisions!"
In fact in Frankfurt, Germany - he said on 09/25/09:
"Arizona - with those problems - hell no"
"After the last vote FOR guns in bars - why should I risk my highly educated people! Why should I risk my highly educated people in a state which shows all signs of mismanagement towards it's own people - WHY?"They must be masochists to move to AZ for the new set up in the USA"
I think he is right!!
There are other states more civilized - (maturity problem? ) and I am on my move as well! ( Thank god - there is life after Gothem)
Some - but "important" people in Government serving positions in AZ elected by AZians can hurt the economy due to their stubborn and laughable actions towards citizens of this state and the hunt on so called illegals and others south of the border - which are hired by AZ companies and the tax $ ( Dude - maybe your police cruiser paid by the man / woman you just arrest) Anyway TAX DOLLARS of those illegals and legals immigrants will go to the police and government of AZ.
I think personally that most of AZians have no clue when it comes to law and ORDER in this state and they are just blind!!
I do not know if a present jurisdictional person in office would be the right person as Governor for this state.
AZ needs a fresh start and also think before it acts like fools on many levels!
International Business Consultant Worked in 35 countries and AZ was a mistake to be corrected very soon.
Seems to be a pattern here.
Didn't Arpaio do this to his last opponent for sheriff.
Seems to me he ether tried to or did arrest Dan Saban on trumped up charges of molesting his mother.
Can anyone guess what office he is setting his sites on now?
Hint: At least two of the people on his hit list have been whispered as possible candidates for consideration.
And as to his stability two interesting facts:
1. Arpaio left DEA because of lack of advancement opportunities. DEA would not promote him. I wonder why.
2. Almost anyone who has ever worked at or around DEA ever has anything good to say about him or will not comment abouthim on or off the record.
well looks like BOBBY is the lonly freak here who thinks these two goons are doing the right thing, We need laws in place to protect citizens from idiots who trick others out of money to elect them. the only thing these citizen thiefs is missing is a gun. How long are people going to stand by and watch ur hard earned money go for corupt collusion ????organized crime in Maricopa county. RECALL RECALL!!!
So Sheriff Joe has ruined your City / County reputation.I have friends in the area and according to them your defense of criminals has destroyed your reputation. People are not going to move to a drug infested criminal enterprise, second only to Mexico city in kidnappings.
Why don't the police just arrest Andrew Thomas and charge him with an embarrassing offense to ruin his career and help save future innocent people from the stress and financial burden of his reckless/ over-aggressive/ high profile publicity producing prosecutions. Lets say Thomas gets arrested and charged with solicitating an undercover male police officer for sexual favors....Who cares if there is absolutely no evidence what so ever indicating his guilt, just prosecute him has recklessly as he likes to do to Matt Bandy, Courtney Bisbee, Don Stapely, just to name a few....you know, give him a taste of his own medicine!! I'm so sick of having this absolutist religious zealot in office.
I've been saying that Joe is mentally ill for years! And I will ad that anyone who support him have many of his same problems.
Chad Snow typed: This reminds me of the scene from Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum's character says "we only asked ourselves what we COULD do, we never stopped to ask what we SHOULD do."
Like, is that the scene where throws the trash can because nuking the aliens will hurt the environment ? Naw, that was a different film crusader role for Goldblum, no ?
Phunny, how HOLLYWOOD moron-ism has become the touchstone and prism for what many accept as reality ! All the "news" shows do it ! "Just like in the Hollywood movie A BEAUTIFUL MIND, Phoenix has its own version of a savant...details at eleven !"
Guess if it ain't in a HOLLYWOOD context, nobody will ever understand, eh ?
Tell me the media ain't takin' us for morons in that respect....
Funny, in the article, how Liberlz can NEVER resist taking a swipe at Fox News, because Fox is not part of the MSM frat club and Old Boy network.
If you ask me, that County Attorney Thomas is the epitome of power-crazed, foaming at the mouth, do-anything-to-get-elected-governor type.
The moron actually thinks he's going to portray himself as some sort of "law and order" caricature for insisting everyone who kills someone else get the death penalty. Well, all the people facing death have to do is demand a trial and the system implodes -- unable to bear the strain, which has happened.
What should we think of someone who wants to gain a high political office on the executions of hundreds of mostly poor people ?
That "Rick" Romley was bad enough...Hey ! Flood the prisons with small-time drug and property offenders and make the United States an embarrassment to the world ! Now, THAT's really showing our respect for the rule of law !!!
Sordid, squalid, sick...
This reminds me of the scene from Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum's character says "we only asked ourselves what we COULD do, we never stopped to ask what we SHOULD do." Arpaio and Thomas only look at what they can get away with and never at what's right. They are giving us a lesson in Jurassic Jurisprudence that is costing the taxpayers millions that we don't have. Andy Thomas, I can't WAIT for you to run for A.G., with a record like this behind you.
God bless the people in Maricopa County whose lives have been destroyed by out of control law enforcement and abuse of power with malicious prosecution.
arpaio and thomas have made sure anyone who might vote against them will be taken down with a coerced plea bargain since mandatory minimum sentencing is the weapon used to destroy these voters. Those at risk are the tourists that frequent the areas restaurants and bars -- will be targeted for a DUI -- "easy" conviction! Oh, then there's photo radar tickets stacking up by the thousands -- left unpaid and where does one wind up?? The list goes on. People in Arizona have no rights. little, big-man arpaio is just reminding us he is arresting "everyone" -- and he is.
Taxpayers are getting abused by thomas and arpaio using the legal system as a weapon to go after anyone who is their political enemy or those they want to silence while they make their political moves. They are using "illegal immigration" as a label to GAIN VOTES - prior to that it went unnoticed by them. They do not care whose lives they destroy as Maricopa County is turned upsidedown for their selfish agenda. It's time for the DOJ and FBI to put them behind bars. Everyone else in the county is at risk for a felony, why not them?
Their election strategy is as transparent as saran wrap and this taxpayer is outraged.
God bless Sheriff Arpaio. We need another ten thousand law officers willing to do their job in the face of all weak minded intellectually limited criticizers.
Sarah, Great investigative reporting. You've given the DOJ and FBI all the details they need to get rid of these abusers of the people. There are so many serious issues in the county and they have destroyed what was once a fine place to live with the help of their right-wing extremists.
Until the Republican party cleans house and gets professionals in the MCSO and MCAO we will not come back to the party. Won't be bringing my business to this state.
Karma is bigger than the fattest ass lawyers in the country. You will all get yours one day for the destruction of lives you have caused upon innocent men, women and children in Arizona with the help of your enablers and puppetiers. You are all pawns in a sick game that the informed can see clearly.
Way to go arpaio and thomas plowing through millions of $$$'s the state and taxpayers don't have. Hope they remember at election time, as they sit without jobs, losing their homes and fine themselves in your courts and jails while you rack up your career points, fringe benefits, cars, travel, legal expenses, and pensions while sitting in luxury office buildings looking over your minions. Maybe the DOJ or the FBI will give you a pass but there is karma and what goes around comes around.
Sarah, this really is an outstanding investigative piece. Not only keeping track of and researching the nitty-gritty details of what happened when, but you really have them psyched -- their actions, reactions, behavior patterns, and all that goes with it. Thanks too for the information on the D.C. lawyers and their reputations.
Excellent reporting and as usual, spot on.
The latest Stapley arrest was a media event to detract from all the problems MCSO is having and people are finally hearing about.
I don't feel real badly for Stapley, however. I recall him sitting there smugly while others have been victimized by MCSO and the county attorney.
It's just his turn in the barrel.
What goes around, comes around.
I see this as a time when Stapley, the politician, is beating beaten by two other politicians.
I also see this as a gross misapplication of authority by MCSO and the county attorney.
But hey, if MCSO says it's ok, then I guess it really is. We won't let normal application of law get in the way of payback, yes?
The MCSO sheriff is mentally ill.
Your reporting on this subject since January, 2009 with the cast of personalities including Mr. Stapley, Mr. Wolfswinkel,Beus & Gilbert, Arpaio, and Thomas et al,is absolutely spellbinding. These actual revelations are truly appalling and magnify the egregious behavior of the Sheriff and the County Attorney. One question though...you refer to Mr. Wolfswinkel as the "ex-con". I do not believe he was ever jailed for any wrong-doing, right?
Probable cause? Probable fucking cause??? Hey Joe, hey Andy, I got yer probable cause hangin' you fuckin' idiots!Is a citizen's arrest legal in this state? If so, I'm personally going to arrest Joe Arpaio and Andy Thomas on probable cause that they are a threat and a menace to a free society, that they have purposely and willfully squandered govt. funds and further that they belong in a psych hosital for evaluation.Joe, Andy, watch yourselves because the long arm of the law just got longer!
Bluster, pontificate, ramble, bloviate, harrumph, blather, speechify, beat chest, threaten, preen, self congratulate, posture, self admire . . . well, our work is done, again. Thanks New Times!
Numnutz in Fantasyworld on the BLOG
"It takes months to build a case for fraudulent schemes, or perjury, or mortgage fraud. No legitimate law enforcement agency would want to tip its hand by arresting a suspect before prosecutors were ready to act."
Excellent article, Ms. Fenske, and good point. If I recall correctly, MCSO stated publicly that their investigation had ended only days before Stapley's rearrest.
Great work Sarah! And New Times, please keep doing articles like this, written by journalists like Sarah. Every time you let Steven Lemons write on this subject it hurts you.
Stay classy and keep using the real journalists and thanks for getting the message out about this crook Arpaio.
IT IS A KNOWN FACT - "there's compelling evidence that County Attorney Thomas began pursuing the case at the suggestion of his private lawyer, Leo Beus. Beus was locked in decades-long litigation with Stapley's business partner, an ex-con named Conley Wolfswinkel. Beus was exploring the relationship between Wolfswinkel and Stapley at the time Thomas began his investigationaders."
NOW, WHAT BENEFIT DID LEO BEUS' son get from the County Attorney on HIS criminal charges? Did he get a "bonus" from the county attorney? After all, Leo Beus was the private attorney for Andrew Thomas. YOU DECIDE IF JUSTICE WAS SERVED EQUALLY OR IF THERE IS REASON FOR CONCCERN ABOUT WHETHER THOMAS INTERVENED IN A CRIMNINAL MATTER ON BEHALF OF HIS FRIEND. Read the online case files to see whether the wonderful county attorney gave the Beus family a break with criminal charges of their son. This at the time our notorious crime fighters are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find crimes against political enemies. All available online through the Superior Court criminal case files.Case Number Party Name CR2005-013240 Beus, Ryan - DOB: 9/4/1980 CR2006-005930 Beus, Ryan - DOB: 9/4/1980 SW2006-000533 Beus, Ryan - DOB: 9/4/1980
So Hendershott - whom we know dictates this rage regarding Stapley - what are you REALLY hiding from us? Normal people don't act the way you do - they don't shoot their mouths off like you do unless they are hiding something REALLY BIG. It won't be long before more your own slobber becomes too much for more of your "trusted" employees - and they begin to seek an outside listening ear. In fact, it's already begun. You deserve a public hanging - and we will use RICO funds to hire the hangman. Now, that would be POETIC JUSTICE. You have slapped the face of the residents of Maricopa County over and over again. You are an abusive, arrogant, rude slob. You are a pathetic excuse for a county employee - let alone in a law enforcement division. How long would your fat ass last in a professional department in another municipality? You wouldn't get past the HR department. This taxpayer doesn't want to pay your salary any more. You're a burden on society. You, Arpaio and scumbag Thomas need to get some serious mental help. Just in case you missed it, you're a fat, malicious, foul mouthed pig who has no business with YOUR past history going after other people. You've got bankruptcy history, failed businesses, shady business deals, misuse of RICO funds issues and much more that are all a part of the public record. How you sleep at night is anybody's guess. Sooner or later you'll be criminally charged. And scores of us will be there delighting in your arrogant pathetic windbag excuses.
Arpaio and Thomas are absolutely insane. Did the "engagement" of these Washington attorneys violate a procurement code within Maricopa County? And, who is the Sheriff trying to fool here? Why WOULDN'T these two attorneys take a no cap on expenses, FREE TRIP TO ARIZONA for the winter when it will be snowing in Washington soon? Hotels, expenses, dining, drinking, billing the RICO funds for their expenses. Arpaio and Thomas (not to mention Hendershott) have gone over the top with the Stapley issue. Hendershott is no doubt diverting attention away from his own misappropriations/theft of the RICO funds by way of the Honduras and other trips. Thomas has sealed his fate in politics, I believe. He'll be lucky to represent drunk drivers when this is done. As far as Hendershott, look at what he's getting from you and I to date....200,000 plus per year, two cars, drivers, living like a HOG that he is. Time for the taxpayers to revolt.
Can somebody stop these criminals? This is crazy. It is scary and disturbing to see that this type of abuse of power can happen in our Country. Almost as disturbing is the fact that our County and State are broke and we are spending thousands and thousands of dollars to prosecute a County Supervisor for possible errors and/or omissions in his paperwork. And we have illegal aliens raping and killing people? Are you kidding me?! Well, we elected these losers. Surely, this term marks the end of Sheriff Joe. The guy is such and egomaniac. He's also a phenomenal politician. He knows what buttons to push to get elected....Unfortunately.
Great investigative reporting, Sarah.
"They actually arrested Don Stapley without an indictment, without a grand jury, without even consulting a prosecutor. In fact, they cuffed a county supervisor and hauled him off to court without bothering to secure charges against him."
This is Maricopa County where the sheriff is crying like a victim on national TV. What an arrogant tyrant! Brought thomas out of the woodwork. Back to 24/7 grandstanding. What a joke.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all could afford to hire media Washington DC attorneys anytime we wanted. The taxpayers are being ripped off and it's time to get these clowns who are wasting our money and destroying lives put in prison. Thousands of others are sitting in jails and prisons on first offense, non-violent. Meanwhile an out of control sheriff and county attorney are allowed to steam roll over the people. Karma will take care of these hypocrites.
Fit Bozo Joe and Candy Dandy to a T....
I was reading an article describing the characteristics of sociopaths and I couldn't help but see Joe Arpaio's face with it written across his forehead. Read them and see if I'm correct. Especially in lite of his requesting the board of supervisors to withdraw it's application for re-accreditation of county jails, alleging that the county's move is a "blantant attempt to chip away at his constitutional authority as elected sherriff to run the jails"......
� Glibness and Superficial Charm � Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims. � Grandiose Sense of Self Feels entitled to certain things as "their right." � Pathological Lying Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests. � Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way. � Shallow Emotions When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. � Incapacity for Love � Callousness/Lack of Empathy Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. � Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others. Irresponsibility/Unreliability Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed. Other Related Qualities: 1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them 2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them 3. Authoritarian 4. Secretive 5. Paranoid 6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired 7. Conventional appearance 8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s) 9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life 10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love) 11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim 12. Incapable of real human attachment to another 13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt 14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose 15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
Basically, it's an asshole con artist who doesn't give a **** about anyone but themselves and doesn't consider how their actions affect other people.
No, we know they aren't kidding, they take pure enjoyment causing and inflicting pain on others.
1. MCSO Chief Deputy Sands talking to the Van Surveillance Driver. 2. MCSO Chief Deputy Sands talking to MCSO SGT. Rich Burdon. 3. MCSO Chief Deputy Sands talking to Sheriff Joe Arpaio
>>"This guy's so arrogant, we came to arrest him on 100 criminal counts, and he thinks we're kidding! Can you believe it?"
Live from Maricopa County, it's the Bozo Joe and Candy Dandy Thomas Comedy Show...
Step right up and watch these 2 clowns throw the tax payers money right into the trash can like nobody else can...
Shows daily for your viewing pleasure.
Stapley will deserve every penny he's gonna get from the lawsuit that is sure to result from Joe and Andy's colossal failure.
Add that sum to the final price tag for these special prosecutors. Stapley will walk, and it will cost the county dearly for Joe and Andy's little game.
Hope the voters are finally starting to pay attention.