Sheriff Joe is my hero. I have no problem with folks coming to America, do it legally, learn the language and assimilate, like everyone else has.
By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have defiled our town square with hanging corpses: five county supervisors, four superior court judges, two county administrators, three attorneys, an entire law firm, and (everywhere) Mexicans.
All of this occurred in a single month, December 2009, when the two lawmen filed racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice, and hindering prosecution charges against their enemies.
Her stunning letter in the morning newspaper provided the blade to cut down these nooses.
Reputations may never be restored, but the public lynchings must stop, the federal government must act, common decency must be restored.
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk must be called before the state grand jury currently investigating six-figure political corruption inside Sheriff Joe Arpaio's command staff.
Attorney General Terry Goddard must, at last, move and move decisively.
Polk would be a cooperative witness.
"If they [the Attorney General's grand jurors] ask, and they need something, she would provide whatever they ask," said Polk's chief of staff, Dennis Magrane, in a Christmas Eve interview.
Finally, President Barack Obama's Justice Department investigators, already probing in Arizona, need to confront the demagogues emerging from the desert arroyos just as federal men once confronted the fevered populists who emerged from the swamps of Louisiana and the piney woods of Mississippi.
Polk's stunning letter in the December 22 issue of the Arizona Republic laid bare her opinion of the abuses by Sheriff Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
For six months, Polk had served as Thomas and Arpaio's lead prosecutor looking into their allegations against the Board of Supervisors, superior court judges, and the contracting process of the new courthouse.
Based on her dealings as an insider, Polk savaged both Thomas and Arpaio.
Whatever the outcome of current litigation, "It will not repair the tremendous damage being done to the entire judicial system by the manner in which these investigations and prosecutions are being handled," wrote Polk. "What is transpiring in Maricopa County is wrong."
Beyond the current state grand jury, Polk's vivid criticism provides a virtual roadmap for federal investigators currently examining civil rights violations by Arpaio and Thomas.
While Polk's assessment was shocking in its frank evaluation, details were few and should be asked for at both the state and federal levels.
Attorney General Goddard can begin with state statutes: Interference With Public Administration and Interference With Judicial Proceedings.
The fact, however, is that Arizona statutes were written by prosecutors who did not envision rogue law enforcement. Consequently, Arizona , like all states, must rely upon the federal government to address America's Huey Longs and Bull Connors.
Department of Justice investigators in Phoenix have two federal statutes at their disposal: 18 USC 241 and 242. They prevent anyone in law enforcement from "intimidating any person . . . in the free exercise of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States . . ."
And: "Whoever, under color of law . . . willfully subjects any person . . . to the deprivation of any rights . . . protected by the Constitution . . . shall be imprisoned . . . "
The history of Arpaio and Thomas is a history of the vivid evisceration of their perceived enemies, whether these opponents are judges upholding the protections the Constitution affords immigrants, reformers advocating for the Constitutional rights of prisoners, journalists exercising their Constitutional guarantee of free speech, or candidates invoking their Constitutional right to seek office.
Thomas and Arpaio routinely abuse the Constitution with fishing expeditions that produce indictments without ever producing convictions.
Now, for the first time, an insider is blowing the whistle.
"Our power, granted to us by the people, is not a personal tool to target political enemies or avenge perceived wrongs," wrote Polk. "Prosecutors are ethically bound to refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause."
What, precisely, happened? We are unlikely to have details until the Justice Department and the attorney general ask. But Polk's chief of staff sketched out the problem.
Magrane explained that Arpaio's chief deputy, David Hendershott, behaved like a kid in a candy shop when it came to investigating perceived enemies.
According to Magrane, the Sheriff's Office abused the subpoena process.
"Grand juries are not just free for-alls," said Magrane. "You can't say, 'I don't like Mike Lacey, therefore I'm going to look into his life.'"
Magrane explained that law enforcement needs "to have information that Mike Lacey did something wrong, not simply that 'there could be something, so let's take a look.'"
Arpaio and Thomas filed racketeering and bribery charges against County Supervisors Fulton Brock, Andrew Kunasek, Donald Stapley, Mary Rose Wilcox, and Max Wilson; county managers David Smith and Sandi Wilson; attorneys Wade Smith, Thomas Irvine, and Edward Novak; the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart; and Superior Court Judges Barbara Mundell, Anna Baca, Gary Donahoe, and Kenneth Fields.
These charges were followed on December 9 by another complaint alleging three felony counts against Judge Gary Donahoe: hindering prosecution, obstructing a criminal investigation, and bribery of a public servant.
During a press conference to announce the charges against Judge Donahoe, Arpaio and Thomas admitted they could not identify the bribe.
Likewise, the evidence of racketeering is a fetid compost pile of lies. Where lies won't do, conspiracies more complicated than the protocols of the Elders of Zion are invoked.
Let's examine one obvious falsehood.
"The evidence of defendant [Judge Kenneth] Fields' bias was extensive," reads the racketeering complaint. "[He] filed a frivolous complaint with the State Bar against Thomas."
No, he did not.
Thomas attempted to float this smear against Judge Fields, who presided over the Stapley matter, in order to knock him off the case.
Judge Fields filed a bar complaint in October '07 against Dennis Wilenchik after the special prosecutor improperly attempted to meet secretly with the judge presiding over the ill-fated case against New Times.
"The state completely fabricates that there was a bar complaint directed at the County Attorney," wrote Stapley's lawyer, Tom Henze, when Thomas first aired this allegation. "Judge Fields initiated no complaint against anyone but Mr. Wilenchik."
Thomas' threadbare attempt to remove Fields was dismissed.
This, then, is Thomas' legal strategy in a nutshell: When judges rule against him, he marshals the setbacks as zombies — allegations of racketeering and bribery that have no life but that slime everyone they touch.
The lies of Thomas and Arpaio are abetted by a grand mal seizure of conspiracy.
Supervisors Stapley and Wilcox, who oppose Arpaio's brutal roundup of Mexicans, are charged by Thomas with hundreds of financial irregularities.
But Thomas is supposed to legally represent the supervisors, not prosecute them. When supervisors seek legal representation they can trust, Thomas files more charges.
When judges see through Thomas' unethical assault on elected officials and dismiss the charges, that proves that the judges are part of the conspiracy.
This really is a Biblical level of babble.
The judges, you see, refuse to convict the supervisors because the judges want the supervisors to fund a new courthouse where Thomas notes, knowingly, that there will be "robing rooms for judges".
This is not racketeering; this is changing your clothes in private.
Here is what you must also grasp about the latest round of terror: Thomas and Arpaio are hell-bent on rounding up Mexicans, and they see enemies whenever someone blocks them from playing the brown card.
In a recent note to supporters, Arpaio bragged about the number of Mexicans he's thrown out of the country.
"This brings to a total of illegal aliens captured and deported to almost 35,000 in the last two years. This represents almost one-third of the total arrests and deportations in the entire United States; and more than all of the other 64 local law enforcement agencies combined," wrote the sheriff.
He also described how he personally took on President Barack Obama.
"Just last month, the Obama White House through the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department under Janet Napolitano, took away my authority to make street arrests and detain illegal immigrants and human smugglers.
"I have defied that outrageous and irresponsible policy. "
Arpaio's defiance put him on a collision course with Judge Donahoe.
Ever since the sheriff noted the intense level of publicity sweeping Mexicans off Valley streets netted him in the media, he has shifted his staff to these activities. Not coincidentally, the sheriff has found himself unable to deliver prisoners to court for trials, hearings, and sentencings.
Judges Baca, Mundell, and Donahoe have all challenged the sheriff on his responsibility under the state Constitution to transport prisoners. Judge Donahoe went on the record that Arpaio's alibi of short staffing seemed less plausible than the reality that the sheriff chose to deploy his deputies to round up Mexicans.
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently upheld Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief David Trombi's contempt citation for his repeated failures to transport prisoners to court.
In fact, the problems that Arpaio and Thomas have had with the judiciary have an appalling racial component.
Thomas has spent blood and treasure for four years trying, and failing, to kill Judge Mundell's Spanish-language probation program.
Thomas' war with the judiciary over Mexicans began October 3, 2007, when the County Attorney's Office invited media to attend a staged confrontation in the courtroom of Judge Timothy Ryan.
Ryan had attempted to establish guidelines for how Arpaio and Thomas labeled and identified illegal aliens. It was no small matter, since accused felons from Mexico would be denied bail.
Instead of appealing Ryan's rulings, Thomas, instead, went after the judge.
In front of the assembled press corps, Wilenchik branded Judge Ryan "a threat to public safety."
This is the pattern of Arpaio and Thomas. Anyone who criticizes becomes the target of a campaign of terror — and the law be damned.
The abuse of the grand jury process by Arpaio and Thomas in not new.
In 2007, my arrest and jailing, as well as the arrest of this newspaper's publisher, Jim Larkin, followed our publishing a cover story revealing that the paper and its reporters were the target of grand jury subpoenas that sought all notes on any story about Arpaio.
Lost in the media firestorm that followed our arrests was the content of precisely what Arpaio and Thomas sought with their grand jury subpoenas.
They specifically sought the identity of any New Times reader who had clicked on any Arpaio story online over a three-year period. The lawmen also wanted to know the online viewing habits of our readers, as well as their online shopping.
Following the publication of the story, Wilenchik also demanded the arrest of our attorneys and an estimated $90 million in fines that would have put us out of business.
When the Republic published Polk's letter, two things happened: Arpaio's chief deputy, Hendershott, retaliated and asked the FBI to investigate her; County Attorney Andrew Thomas asked the courts to investigate a conspiracy among his fellow prosecutors to discredit him.
Neither prosecutors nor journalists, not judges nor public officials, may criticize or disagree with Thomas and Arpaio without risk of imprisonment.
Polk did the right thing.
Now it is up to Goddard and Obama.
Sheriff Joe is my hero. I have no problem with folks coming to America, do it legally, learn the language and assimilate, like everyone else has.
What is more egregious, a man doing the best he can to make his state safer, even if it can be considered outside of the law by some, or a country who has agreed to protect its people, fails to do so and furthermore says that it will not do so because it can't. Sheriff Joe is my hero!
Safer? Ask the over 400 cases of sex crime victims that Arpaio has neglected to investigate. Or the many people who he's killed, poisoned and diseased in his concentration camp jail, many of whom haven't even been indicted of a charge, and few of whom have been found guilty of anything. Tell me how safe your hero keeps you when it's you tied to a chair being beaten to death by half a dozen guards for missing a stop sign.
Hey Dimwit, crime is down all over the state except in Maricopa county where your hero "nickle bag" Joe rrefuses to serve the 50,000 felony arrest warrants that have been piling up under his watch. I wonder why, could it be that some number of these people wanted are actually members of the Joke's roving gangs of thugs he deploys to harrass Mexicans in the county, legally or not? Approaching 50 million has be paid out in wrongful death and illegal arrest judgments against this out of control thug and his ganster with badges with another thousand or so claims outstanding, yet you dimwits blame "illegal" Mexicans for all you problems. You are fucking idiots!
The situation in this state is due to lack of so called leaders working together to come up with common sense solutions to our problems, instead of always checking how it fits into a zealots ideology first.
If we had some true leadership, like Terry Goddard, who works to bring people together, respects everyone's opinions, and then takes tangible action, we might be able to get out of this hole.
Unequal treatment? It was OK when it was done to the sheriff? Tit for tat! No one prosecuted Garcia for the SAME thing! Wow. Something stinks.
Pima County lawyer slammed, defended over sheriff pi� B. POOLE, 8.06.2008http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/d...Controversy continued Tuesday over Isabel Garcia, the Pima County legal defender who carried a paper-m��ead of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in front of a cheering crowd during a protest last month. The issue was not on the agenda for Tuesday's Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting, but about 20 speakers - about half in support of Garcia and half in protest of her actions - came to a microphone during a call to the audience. During a July 10 protest she organized, Garcia, who is a defense attorney, was seen holding the paper head - which had been beaten off of a pi� by youths wielding sticks - while the crowd cheered. The episode sparked calls for Garcia's disbarment and firing. Several speakers decried Garcia's actions as hurtful to law enforcement officers. Larry Lopez, president of the Tucson Police Officers Association, demanded an investigation. "Law enforcement around this state does not think this is funny," he said.
What is the FBI doing in Pima County for the same? Too busy "playing around" in the U of A girls bathroom? Operation Lively Green didn't fare too well either did it. Sheriff Joe knows the stench in Pima County. Are you sure its not he that is being treated wrongly or retaliated against? Strange indeed. Two different standards, depending on who you are and on your policital views. Isn't that a civil rights violation?
AG backs out of cases involving Maricopa County sheriff http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s...Goddard's office is the subject of an investigation by Sheriff Joe Arpaio into a $1.9 million payment from the state treasurer's office for legal fees last year. Arpaio has said he is trying to determine if the payment influenced the prosecution of former state treasurer David Petersen.
Don Bolles didn't fare too well fighting corruption either.
You are one sick bastard attempting to equate the leader of today's continuing criminal conspiracy against the citizens of Maricopa county with heroic journalist Don Bolles who was murdered in a particularly heinous fashion by another infamous Maricopa county criminal conspiracy. With you warped, twisted creeps black is white, up is down and right is always wrong!
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We have a new United States Attorney General, a new US Attorney for this district, and a new Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix FBI office. It is time for them to bring these matters before a federal grand jury.
Actually, Ray, recent information indicates the A.G. is making progress and action is imminent.
You see, not everyone acts as MCSO does, with their daily press releases or press conferences, authorized by the shurf - or maybe not, depending on who he's talking to. Professional law enforcement agencies actually perform investigations without leaking it or bragging it, or sending letters to those being investigated.
Professional law enforcement agencies complete their investigations FIRST and then take action to secure arrest WARRANTS, unlike MCSO when they arrested Don Stapley and then went prosecutor shopping. Even Andy wouldn't take the case (there is a slight problem of conflict, of course). No other county attorney in Arizona will touch the case.
So, I have reason to believe that Mr. Goddard and his team have been taking action, although I don't know that to be factual, and I think positive prosecution is imminent.
For those of us who have been waiting, sometimes impatiently, I believe 2010 is going to be really good for Maricopa County.
The MCSO sheriff is mentally ill. And about to fall.
Wow, New Times is delusional. You actually believe that Goddard, who will be running for Governor, is going to go after the most popular politician in Maricopa County?
Why doesen't someone send Sheila Polk someplace where she can be taught (if that is possible )what it means to protect the rights of the people of Az.
She should be joined by the other worthless duo,Nepolitano and Brewer.
Let Arpaio and Thomas do the job we the people expect them to do,and do it the way they are,,,,,EXCELLENTLY...
Goddard won't do a single thing. He made a deal ages ago with the Devil and has an election to worry about. He has had ample opportunities as AG to step in and hasn't. He won't be starting now.
While I agree with your distain for Arpaio and his syncophants, I totally disagree with your tactics. Comparing the situation in Maricopa County today to Mississippi in the 1950's is gross hyperbole. It is like comparing Sergeant Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes" to Hitler. Nothing Arpaio or his department has done can hold a candle up to the injustices that occurred in that part of the world at that time in history. When was the last time one of Joe's critics turned up dead? Never. When was the last time that people were being lynched for their skin color here in maricopa county? Not in my lifetime.
You took a similar approach with your "Pink Negro" article, where you seemed to presume that you might somehow convince federal officials to crack down on Arpaio by repeatedly insulting the president and making inflammatory statements about race. Once again, your hyperbole completely overwhelmed whatever point you were trying to make.
Now this strategy might appeal to anyone who already hates Sheriff Joe and wants to see him burn in hell, but I am afraid everyone else is going to be repelled by your slanted exaggeration. I mean, if you are willing to resort to such debased tactics to attack your enemy what else would you be willing to do? Lie? You are undermining your own arguement and severely damaging your credibility in the eyes of most rational people. Worse, I think you may be actually strengthening Arpaio's cause when you resort to these dirty tactics.
An article in today's Republic, "Complaints against 3 officials tossed -- State Bar finds no wrongdoing by county trio targeted in filings by sheriff's ranking deputy" reports that Hendershott filed complaints with the State Bar earlier this year against County Manager David Smith (practicing law without a license) and two other county attorneys (Wade Swanson and Richard Stewart), that all three have opposed the sheriff, and that all 3 complaints were dismissed between Oct. 13 and Dec. 14.
The sheriff's office spent $28,000 to hire outside attorneys to help Hendershott prepare the complaints, and the county expects to pay an additional $5,000 to $10,000 to outside attorneys hired by Swanson and Stewart to prepare responses to the complaints.
Smith and the lawyers had said that the complaints had no merit, and just last month Smith filed a Bar complaint against Thomas and three of his employees.
In view of that showing of a couple hundred lawyers protesting Thomas'latest bizarre actions, I believe if anything has merit, it would be this recent complaint to the Bar from Smith.
The "35,000 captured and deported illegal aliens" referred to in Arpaio's fundraising letter, should be understood as follows:
Maricopa County is the fifth largest county in the nation and has one of the highest proportions of Hispanic residents (both legal and illegal).
The local police departments in Phoenix and other cities and towns in Maricopa County, deliver all arrested criminals (of all races and nationalities) to Arpaio's county jail for booking.
The MCSO's detention officers, operating under their 287(g) authority (the jail portion of which was never rescinded) then sort through the prisoners arrested and delivered by OTHER law enforcement agencies, in order to determine the residency status of each.
The illegal aliens discovered thereby, along with the two dozen or so which the MCSO itself picks up in its bi-monthly "sweeps", and a few more it gets in the even more occasional drophouse raid, provides the 35,000 figure; the little bit of the MCSO's own arrests, dumped on top of the mountain produced by everybody else, makes this "captured" figure "more than all of the other 64 local law enforcement agencies combined".
None of Arpaio's statements quoted by Mr. Lacey from this letter are technically untrue; the flim-flam and prevarication arise from Arpaio's attempt, by suggestion, to mislead his supporters into giving the MCSO full or primary credit, rather than the marginal contribution they can rightly claim credit for.
In other words, as an ENFORCER of immigration law, the MCSO's arrest record is small and weak. This is the truth that must be forever camouflaged with bombast if it is not to be discovered by his legions of loyal followers that the Emperor has no clothes.
Similarly, the MCSO's nonfeasance in deliving prisoners to the courts in a timely manner, is simply childish foot-dragging motivated by political hostility against the judiciary which has stood in Arpaio's way, and indirectly against the County Board of Supervisers who have sought to exercise their lawful discretion over items of his budget.
Painting Arpaio as a diligent enforcer of immigration laws, by taking his own deceitful hyperbole at face value, only plays into his hands, by giving him further propaganda to cite to his supporters. ("Even my arch enemy New Times admits that...")
Chrissy Long writes: "no response to juvenile insults"
Chrissy, how about a response to my legitimate question about Polsinelli Shugart and Polk?
How about a response to my calling you out on the other story where you ignorantly state that "the Constitution only applies to citizens"?
When you can respond to those, I'll stop the juvenile insults.
It is ironic the Phx expatriates who live elsewhere have such a jaundiced view of the establishment to deal with the problems in Phoenix. The suckers who still live in Az lash out at them furiously, venomously.
Get out while you can - the sun is brighter, the wind fairer and the jasmine more aromatic east of the Mississippi...
Chad Sow typed: "Chrissy Long: I can see why a narrow minded bigot like you would want to live in the South - go put your hood back on and get back to your Klan meetin'."
No response to juvenile insults...
The basic problem is that Arpaio and Thomas remain popular with the voters. Terry Goddard is probably afraid that action against Arpaio and Thomas would cost him votes. If Arpaio and Thomas were unpopular, he would have no such concern. So this is very much a battle for public opinion.
Napolitano and Goddard have one very important thing in common, they're both cowards. Those two would NEVER do anything to jeopardize their political futures. Do NOT count on Napolitano or Goddard to standup to JoKKKe and Candy.
Once again people, any challenges to these tyrants are going to have to come from real people with everything to lose.
Long's idiotic comments are sad but common among the many carpetbaggers who plague our community. They're all ignorant or act in disbelief to the fact that brown people are INDIGENOUS to these parts. Carpetbaggers GO HOME!
Chrissy Long: I can see why a narrow minded bigot like you would want to live in the South - go put your hood back on and get back to your Klan meetin'. Hard to think a redneck from the Deep South is an Arpaio-fellater. BTW, in all of your nonsense, you still don't answer my question about how two law firms (Polsinelli Shugart and YCAO) hand picked by Thomas are all of the sudden a part of the conspiracy once they don't agree with him.
Stoller, even if Reza, Gilman, et al did the things you've accused them of, they didn't do them under color of law. Which is more dangerous, a couple of long haired dudes with video cameras or an evil despot with a $300,000,000 budget, a huge jail, and thousands of guns???
The MCSO Sheriff and County Attorney are corrupt.
Stoller & Cocozza,Boy you've really lost it. Your last post, while most creative, shows a profound act of desperation. Looks like it was inspired or written by Hendershott.
As a former Arizonan who got out when the getting out was good, I lived in Phoenix long before Arpaio came into power.
I also remember the whispering campaign regarding Goddard. And the more recent innuendoes regarding Janet Napolitano. Are they true? I don't know. But what I do highly suspect is that these two are doing nothing because the 'goods' that Arpaio has on them locked in that top desk drawer will be pulled out and aired out the minute either of them try to do anything to stop this mad man.
To understand this, you must realize that Goddard are self-interested politicians first. Citizens, laws, civil rights, prosecuting and investigating the corrupt duo of Thomas and Arpaio come in at a far distant second. If Arpaio is cornered, he's have those rainbows flying out of his office before the ink is dry. Lacey knows this I'm sure. He's been around long enough to be in the know.
Perhaps the New Times needs to once and for all put Goddard and Napolitano under the microscope. And blunt any 'confidential files' that Arpaio has as ammunition to silence them. After all this time, the PEOPLE need to be protected, not the politicos.