Those remarks are not collected by the MCSO, and so are now lost, thus damaging the plaintiffs' ability to prove that the department is racially profiling — which is the point of the lawsuit. Other information was lost when those stat sheets were shredded, as well as the ability to cross-reference them with the final MCSO reports.

Under oath, Madrid copped to deleting e-mails concerning the sweeps whenever his e-mail in-box got full. Madrid testified that he had never received an order from higher-ups instructing him to save requisite e-mails or retain stat sheets.

Additionally, in a November 4 affidavit from Madrid's boss, Lieutenant Joe Sousa, the Human Smuggling Unit's top deputy, Sousa admits that after the information on the stat sheets was transferred to a "master data sheet," the stat sheets were "discarded."

Because each sweep has been performed by 100 to 200 deputies and posse members and because there have been 13 sweeps so far, plaintiffs' lawyers estimate that "hundreds, if not thousands, of stat sheets would have been available to plaintiffs but for defendants' shredding of the documents."

Attorneys for the Phoenix law firm Steptoe & Johnson, lead counsel in the case involving several racial-profiling victims, have made numerous requests for such documents in letters to Arpaio's lawyer, Timothy Casey, and in court pleadings. (Note: The ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund joined Steptoe & Johnson in an amended complaint against the MCSO last year.)

"Defendants shredded the stat sheets even while receiving multiple requests from plaintiffs for these documents," reads the motion. "Plaintiffs identified these materials for preservation and production in July 2008, and served Rule 34 document requests for them in February of 2009."

The motion maintains that a "litigation hold" should have been placed on such documents by MCSO honchos at the beginning of the suit in 2007. Nevertheless, the shredding continued. After the February 2009 request, "defendants produced a smattering of these records." However, Madrid's testimony indicates that the destruction of evidence went on far after that.

Steptoe & Johnson lawyers David Bodney and Peter Kozinets have also sought immigration and sweep-related e-mails to and from Sheriff Arpaio, Chief Deputy Brian Sands, and Hendershott. But defense attorney Casey insisted in a November 4 letter to Kozinets that such e-mails from the upper echelon do not exist. That would mean no e-mail communication to or from these three MCSO big shots concerning immigration enforcement for the past two years.

Casey's reply to the charge that the MCSO has been destroying evidence was that the plaintiffs didn't need that evidence, anyway.

"Your charge of evidence destruction by Sergeant Manuel Madrid or the MCSO is hyperbole," Casey informed Kozinets in the November 4 letter. "Whether the MCSO kept individual stat sheets from July 21, 2008, to the current date is immaterial to the successful prosecution of the plaintiffs' case."

Yet on November 12, presiding Judge G. Murray Snow issued an order authorizing the plaintiffs to file a motion seeking sanctions on the defense-based admission that evidence had been destroyed.

"Counsel for defendants," wrote Snow, "acknowledges that requests for such documents were transmitted to the MCSO as of July 2008, and further acknowledges that, despite this request, the 'stat' sheets that are prepared by individual officers during the course of the 'crime suppression sweeps' or 'saturation patrols' have not been maintained by the defendants. It is also possible, but less clear, that e-mails discussing these operations have also been deleted by the defendants."

Snow ordered both parties to "take affirmative steps to prevent the destruction of" other documents relating to the sweeps. The plaintiffs are seeking attorney fees and are asking that the depositions be reopened in light of Madrid's admission. They also want the judge to draw "appropriate adverse inferences against the defendants," meaning that the judge would assume that the destroyed evidence had been harmful to the defense's case.

Bodney recently informed me that the plaintiffs still have plenty of evidence to prove Arpaio is racially profiling. Still, the revelation, which was first reported in my Feathered Bastard blog on November 21, shows you that Joe's boys in beige have gone the way of Ollie North and Fawn Hall.

It's not terribly surprising. What's more surprising is that other local media have so far responded with little more than a yawn.

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8 comments
AZJayMan
AZJayMan

Joe and his MCSO clowns continue to violate the rights of citizens everywhere in Maricopa County.

Andrew Thomas authorizes Joe and his MCSO clowns to continue the violations.

Andrew Thomas needs leave public office. He needs to be disbarred.Joe should have lost his police certificate when he was elected sheriff.

Nothing but clowns are elected to city, county, state and federal government.

What does that make us?

Coz
Coz

I know what you mean....

I read both books and both are very good.

It never ceases to amaze me how the justice system is only for everyday people and the one's that are suppose to represent the justice system are most times more corrupt than those they prosecute...

The only difference with criminals and representatives of the justice systems is the representatives of the justice system get away with anything they want.

There is no real checks and balances when it comes to justice, just a bunch of bullshit.

I used to believe in the justice system, but not anymore. It's a joke as far as I'm concerned. It's not about justice, it's about money, power and what connections you have that willingly look the other way within the justice system.

Ever notice how everyday people get hammered for just about anything and everything, and yet politicians can seem to get away with all kinds of crimes and even murder.

Candy Ass Thomas and Bozo Joe Arpaio are proof positive of this.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

Coz, Then there's the Ray Krone wrongful conviction and imprisonment on Death Row of an innocent man starting back in the early 90's and those same prosecutors in the County Attorney's office and officials are STILL there and got away with it. There's an established pattern that has been allowed to continue to bring us to today. Read two books about how justice is handled in Maricopa County. "Jingle Jangle" Ray Krone story by Jim Rix. And "Accidental Felons" Daniel Horn. Both should be required reading for all college students and the public who are interested in the justice system.

Coz
Coz

If Bozo Joe and the Goons aren't busy changing evidence, their busy destroying it, they've been doing that for years.

All one has to do is read the Scott Norberg story to see how long it's been going on.

Dead Broke
Dead Broke

It's bad enough I have to put up with this clown since I live in Maricopa County why, did he need to tarnish my Wildcats? Joe can go shove a cactus up his butt. Maybe this is his way of trying to spread his influence beyond our county borders? Ran for govenor? God I hope not.

Scott
Scott

Joe is nothing more than a tinpot dictator.

Coz
Coz

All this interview process did was further prove what a corrupt lair Bozo Joe is and how senile he's really getting...

AZ State of Fear
AZ State of Fear

Stephen, Great job! Couldn't wait for your coverage of this special event at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism. Keep the pressure on. You are the leader in exposing the abuse of power by the sheriff. Finally others are following your lead. We had it with the typical reporter "soft-ball" questions who have contributed to the escalation of abuse of power and a reign of terror in Maricopa County and the state.

It's time for the enablers and supporters of arpaio and thomas to pay their legal bills. We don't know anyone who even voted for these clowns who have destroyed people's lives, families, the community, cost the taxpayers millions of dollars they don't have and they've threatened the future of Arizona.

 
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