The Nooses Must Be Cut Down

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk provided the blade. Now it's up to AG Goddard and President Obama to use it

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.

Three days before Christmas, prosecutor Sheila Polk broke ranks.

Attorney General Terry Goddard should call Sheila Polk to testify before the state grand jury.
Photo by Ryan Kelly/Congressional Quarterly
Attorney General Terry Goddard should call Sheila Polk to testify before the state grand jury.

Details

Read additional stories in the rest of New Times' ongoing series "Are Your Papers in Order?"

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.

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49 comments
Diane Garcia83
Diane Garcia83

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.

Native Arizonan
Native Arizonan

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!

solutions
solutions

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.

george
george

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.

dgd
dgd

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maria
maria

did she provide the BALLS with the knife. We'll see if he has any.

dasl;k
dasl;k

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.

TommyC
TommyC

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.

Raymond Gross
Raymond Gross

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?

KennyR
KennyR

Paul From Phoenix:

Might your last name actually be Chagolla?

Just wondering.

Paul
Paul

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...

Brian
Brian

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.

Max
Max

Mr. Lacey,

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.

Tina
Tina

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.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

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...")

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

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.

Anon
Anon

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...

Chris Long
Chris Long

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...

Jeff Benton
Jeff Benton

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.

Hank Hill
Hank Hill

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!

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

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.

Tina
Tina

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.

helentroy4
helentroy4

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.

Tina
Tina

Chris Long, I don't know what you're snorting, smoking, shooting or drinking (maybe all of the above) but you've done enough asinine trolling for the night, and it's l--o--n--g past your bedtime. Nighty night.

Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza
Bill Stoller and Gerri Cocozza

The Associates have sent the following letter to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, et. al. We received it from Chicago Associate ARTURO SEGURA,

"To Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the MCSO,

We refer you to Phoenix New Times' Editor MIKE LACEY's latest propaganda at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com... .

LACEY refers to the very federal statutes which he, PHIL GORDON, STEPEHN LEMONS, DENNIS GILMAN, SALVADOR REZA, and the other subversives have blatantly violated. As you probably know, Stephen Lemons, Reza, and others have conspired to deprive pro-enforcement folks of their civil rights by instigating false arrests and malicious prosecutions of ANNA GAINES, RICK GALEENER, BILL STOLLER, and others.

Lemons, Dennis Gilman, Reza, and others have also committed federal crimes by aiding, abetting, and harboring illegals at the MACHEUALLI DAY LABOR CENTER and other locations. These are USC 1324 violations which you have the power to enforce per USC 1324(c). They are also civil and criminal violations of the local City of Phoenix nuisance ordinance. Please see the attached pending lawsuit against REZA/MACHEUALLI in Dreamy Draw Justice Court, Phoenix.

Due to the above and based on other credible evidence, we request a full investigation and criminal prosecution of LEMONS, REZA, GORDON, and others if you find probable cause. We simply don't feel that the USDOJ and/or U.S. Attorney Burke will take any substantive action. Nevertheless, we are submitting substantial and credible evidence to their offices.

Thank you for your assistance and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2010.

Sincerely,

/s/

(Signed by fifteen Associates)

Chris Long
Chris Long

"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."

Yeah. Don't EVER forget the Illegals when recounting the victims in Maricopa County...

Chris Long
Chris Long

CooperG typed about Goddard; "My guess is he won't do anything because Arpaio and Thomas would claim it's "election year" politics--like theirs isn't-- and the Democrats certainly don't want to appear to be doing things that appear 'political.'"

Shoot, you don't think Goddard wants to get indicted and his offices raided, do you ? Look at his picture. consider his reputation. Does he have the guts, courage and grit to assault the Citadel ?

I don't think so...

Chris Long
Chris Long

Funny, that any stupid fool would turn their eyes to TERRY GODDARD as some sort of White Knight !

CooperG
CooperG

I hate to say it, but I'm not holding my breath. Were Goddard to get out in front of this crap and actually DO something about it, it would stun everyone but it would also show that he's really got what it takes to run this state in the face of Republican partisan arrogance and abuse of the rule of law and show he's not going to tolerate it.

My guess is he won't do anything because Arpaio and Thomas would claim it's "election year" politics--like theirs isn't-- and the Democrats certainly don't want to appear to be doing things that appear "political."

Then get the hell out of the game, because it's nothing but politics with Arpaio and Thomas. But Goddard's explanation SHOULD be that "everyone is subject to the rule of law," which happens to be the same thing Arpaio and Thomas always say.

Mr. AG, sometimes you have to do the right thing. Sometimes the supposed "majority" or some poll is wrong. You need to stand up and lead us in the right direction. It may not appear to be the right choice to the public at the time, but they'll see the wisdom in the decision and they'll support you once they understand things. If you need a picture of how this works, go see the movie "Invictus."

Be what we need, not what happens to be easy or the path of least confrontation.

Chris Long
Chris Long

Stanley typed: "A recall is the proper way to get rid of these buffoons."

Yeah, right ! So type your recall petition and go stand on the street corner at Central/Camelback with a sign that says "Recall Arpaio, Stoddard ! Sign up here..."

The MCSO Imperial Stormtroopers will ram your head into the gutter so fast, you'll wonder what the HELL happened ! AND you'll be facing felony charges, to boot ! The charges will be 'anti-state activities' or some such nonsense. And don't count on ever getting in front of the equivalent of a Judge Donahoe ! The country lockup has all sorts of 'lessons' awaiting do-gooders like yourself.

Chris Long
Chris Long

Chad snow typed: "I may be mistaken, but didn't Andy Thomas sign off on Polsinelli Shugart representing the County and Sheila Polk taking over the Stapley prosecution? It is one thing for his political enemies to be part of this vast alleged conspiracy, but what does it say about Thomas' integrity, judgement, and the validity of the RICO suit that the very people he's handpicked are all of the sudden bad apples?"

Gee, forward that The Messiah's AG, Eric Holder, and maybe they'll send the DOJ cavalry your way ! Try to RICO that den of thieves in Maricopa County and they'll come down on your do-gooders so hard your heads will spin !

You don't understand, pal ! It's game, set and match...pick up your balls and go home. You're outclassed, outfoxed, outgunned and OUT ! Got it ?

Chris Long
Chris Long

"Now it's up to AG Goddard and President Obama to use it..."

Yeah, right ! Like The Savior Obama gives a damn about Arizona ! The Savior is far up to his ass in alligators, he ain't got time to drain YOUR swamp...

Hey, why isn't Nappy pleading with The Savior to save her adopted state ? Shoot - she was in and out for the buck and fame, she got what she wanted from Az! How's it feel, suckers ?

Prediction: the Savior, Nappy, Eric Holder, Rahm Emmanuel and the all the rest of that pack of thieves leaves ya'll to fend for yourselves, without so much as a by-your-leave !

Enough is Enough!!
Enough is Enough!!

#Comment from another article: "The electorate does not understand what a danger the county attorney and sheriff pose to the administration of justice."

Yes, many of us do. The Anti-Thomas Protest on Monday, Dec. 22nd informed the world the how dangerous thomas is. Only thomas doesn't have the ability to see himself or what he looks like. His sound bytes are getting stale. Don't we all want criminals locked up, starting with Andrew Thomas.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

Sheila Polk is a courageous, respectable woman. SHE had the guts to call out these bastards and tell the community WHAT they are dealing with.Just ONE DAY after the Supreme Court announced the appointment of Chief Justice McGregor to manage this mess, Thomas files motions to her to HIRE THE SPECIAL PROSECUTORS he hand-picked, as though THEY won't be roughed up by Hendershott and the MCSO?The AZ Supreme Court needs to see what is happening here. If the MCAO and the MCSO are allowed to hand pick their weapons, Hendershott will do to the Washington, DC attorneys exactly what he tried to do with Sheila Polk....that is to bully, threaten and intimidate them.What do they care? Money is money. If they give in to Hendershott and bill the taxpayers (RICO OR NOT) to do Hendershott's dirty laundry, it's still a conflict.Let the Supreme Court decide who prosecutes what case - if there is even enough "evidence" to try. Judge Ore should be investigated for his part in giving Hendershott the rubber stamp. Hendershott's comment about why they used Ore over and over again is outrageous...he says that the "chain" is there because he's "FAMILIAR" with the cases. Since WHEN is one case related to the other? Since when is ORE QUALIFIED to make that decision?He has clearly put himself in the public's perception, as being on his knees for Hendershott.I think a Grand Jury needs to indict Arpaio, Hendershott, Thomas AND Ore, all for their abuse of the judicial system and for their LIES and FALSE REPORTS they have continued to spew.Fat Boy is about to be taken down, I believe. The SCA Scandal looms first...and when that hammer comes down, many of fat boy's misdeeds will be uncovered.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Great article, Mr. Lacey. We appreciate your leading the way to the answers. The North Carolina Attorney General did the right thing and stepped in on the Duke / Nifong politically driven abuse of power and destruction of a county and community. That's whats needed in Maricopa County. Who is going to stand up against this abuse of power. The nation is watching.

TommyC
TommyC

Tina, contact me for further information, if you care to. tcniner.guy@gmail.com

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

Sarah Fenske's phenomenal article "Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Command Staff is Caught Up in a Serious Criminal Investigation" on September 1, 2009, documented the A.G.'s avowals to the Pinal County Judge that the investigation of the SCA was wrapping up. A Motion filed with the Court in August avowed that there were "very few witnesses remaining to be interviewed".

So here we are, over 4 months later, and what has Goddard done? I am all in favor of preparing a meticulous case against MCSO - I want to see Arpaio and Henderschott do the perp walk as much as anyone. But given the worsening meltdown in the rule of law in Maricopa County, I don't believe we have the luxury of such a deliberate investigation by Attorney General Goddard.

Goddard, follow the lead of Sheila Polk. The time to act is NOW. If you fail to show leadership now in your job as attorney general, how do you expect anyone to support you in a run for governor???

Chad Snow
Chad Snow

I may be mistaken, but didn't Andy Thomas sign off on Polsinelli Shugart representing the County and Sheila Polk taking over the Stapley prosecution? It is one thing for his political enemies to be part of this vast alleged conspiracy, but what does it say about Thomas' integrity, judgement, and the validity of the RICO suit that the very people he's handpicked are all of the sudden bad apples?

Tina
Tina

Many, many thanks, Mr. Lacey, for putting it all together and informing readers of so many of the abuses, lies, and downright craziness by the Arpaio/Thomas team which all seems to get worse with each passing day. We're at a point where we're wondering what they're going to be doing, who they're going to be charging, terrorizing or "investigating" tomorrow. And thank you for reminding us of the particular state and federal laws that prohibit those abusive, terrorizing actions.

The time seemed to be ripe a few months ago for the Department of Justice and/or the Attorney General to act, together or in concert. But since then this Thomas/Arpaio team have provided even more evidence of their wrongdoing.Who would have dreamed three months ago that they would allege a "conspiracy," racketeering, bribery, etc. -- with no evidence to back up the charges -- against all those people named: four judges, all five members of the Board of Supervisors, two county managers, a private law firm, two lawyers....and who did I leave out?

I can't guess why Terry Goddard hasn't YET done anything, although there apparently is an ongoing state grand jury that is now hearing evidence against at least the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. I assume the grand jury was convened at the behest of the AG's office. With regard to Rick's comments, it was learned, verified and reported by New Times a few months ago that MCSO's unlawful SCA Fund (the proceeds from which were used for the re-election campaigns of Arpaio and Thomas) was being investigated by the AG, and that Captain Joel Fox's residence was searched, computers confiscated, etc. last spring.

Also, in an informative article a few months ago, New Times provided a link to the three-page October 24, 2007 letter sent to Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas from Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. It packs a wallop and provides yet more detailed evidence into the lies, false accusations, ineptitude and wasteful fishing expedition demands by the Thomas/Arpaio team. The letter is civil in tone (I made a copy and now have it in my hands). Goddard did not call a splashy press conference to release the letter, but it calls a spade a spade with Thomas. If I were a lawyer in Thomas's position and received such a letter, I would certainly consider myself forewarned.

How I wish that New Times would reprint that Goddard letter in its entirety. Since its writing over two years ago, the County Attorney and County Sheriff have done everything imaginable to feed the Attorney General's office with an arsenal of ammunition to be used against them.

I agree that this costly, abusive lunacy must and can be stopped; but I don't believe, as Rick does, that the AG's office is sitting idle.

TommyC
TommyC

Sheila Polk is my hero!

Finally, someone with integrity, along with a couple hundred Phoenix lawyers, has spoken out against this long time conspiracy of Maricopa County.

I think it's especially telling when this person is someone who had been 'hired' to prosecute the drivel trumped up by Thomas and the other miscreants, and then refused to do so, returning the whole package to Maricopa County with a simple, "No Thanks".

I don't know if anything has been in the works by the state attorney general, but this should be the catalyst to make something happen at that level, if it hasn't been in action already.

This could be the perfect opportunity for Mr. Goddard to save face by using the action of Ms. Polk as the 'cause' for intense investigation and action against Thomas and the MCSO gang of misfits.

It's just too bad the action had to come from another county attorney, and not the state A.G., in the first place.

Again, Ms. Polk, thank you, thank you, thank you!

rolly
rolly

Your article while pointing out how pathethic the criminal complaint against Judge Donahoe is makes the mistake of confusing criminal and civil complaints. The racketeering complaint is a civil matter that does not require the plaintiff to be a prosecutor. You could file a racketeering action against Thomas tomorrow so it does involve an abuse of his prosecutorial functions because it does not involve prosecution at all.

Stanley
Stanley

A recall is the proper way to get rid of these buffoons.

Tupac Enrique Acosta
Tupac Enrique Acosta

Community Indictment and Order to AppearViolations of Civil Rights - Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

MARCH FOR HUMAN RIGHTSPHOENIX, ARIZONANational Day of Action Janaury 16th, 2010

http://puenteaz.org/NEWS.html

Rick
Rick

Phoenix New Times, you have been very kind on your articles every time you write something about this good for nothing "AG" Goddard, I'm sure somewhere along the swearing lines he had to swear when he took office that he would work to investigate any abuses and protect all innocent citizens of this state and as of today he has done nothing absolutely nothing not even a small investigation into any of the dozens of abuses you keep reporting year after year from this pair. so please next time you write something about him make sure you're not too soft on him or I will stop reading this paper, I want to see this on the front page of your next Thursday edition "WHEN WILL HE GET UP FROM THAT CHAIR TO DO HIS JOB AND START AN INVESTIGATION ON THOMAS AND ARPAIO"?

El Bruce
El Bruce

Really, did you do all those things? Or were you just born here?

If that monster is your hero, then you are the enemy of all decent human beings.

El Bruce
El Bruce

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.

teobuneo
teobuneo

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!

teobuneo
teobuneo

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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