Fox states that he will love others in his life, but Black "will always be the most important one."

Black would later deny to state and federal investigators that he and Fox had a homosexual relationship.

Whatever the situation, other employees noticed that Black treated Fox with favoritism.

Captain Joel Fox
Dennis Gilman
Captain Joel Fox

And when Black and Fox teamed up to manage a secret slush fund, apparently at the behest of Chief Deputy Hendershott, they became partners in campaign crime.

The love affair isn't just fodder for gossip — it cuts to the heart of what became known as the SCA scandal. It helps explain why Fox went along with the scheme by superiors and why, when authorities began asking questions about the secret fund, Fox engaged in desperate stonewalling, for months refusing to divulge the donors' names or the identities of who was behind the group, even as he was being threatened with a $315,000 fine.

Fox wasn't just trying to shield the donors or the Sheriff's Office from scrutiny. He wanted to protect the man he loved.


After Black retired and was rehired, Arpaio said part of Black's job was homeland security. But — as he and Fox would later admit — another part was being a "political hack."

Black enlisted Fox, who considered his superior officer the greatest love of his life, to help him on a stealth project for the 2008 election. The mission, according to public records, was to secretly raise tens of thousands of dollars from corporations and a few rich people to fund a powerful smear ad against Arpaio's opponent again in the sheriff's race, Dan Saban — campaign finance laws be damned.

Helping to get contributions for the shady fund became Black's "primary project" in his new civilian position, Valley developer and then-Phoenix Coyotes owner Steve Ellman, a friend of Arpaio and Hendershott's, would tell investigators.

Ultimately, the project morphed into one of the worst allegations of corruption to hit the Sheriff's Office in Arpaio's 18-year reign — and one that may yet result in indictments for the main players.

The alleged violations include contributing to a campaign in the name of another, earmarking party or political action committee contributions toward a specific candidate, and using corporate money to make a prohibited contribution. In addition to campaign violations, investigators suspect Fox of fraudulent schemes for his role and Hendershott of running an illegal enterprise and obstruction of justice, according to search warrant returns in the case.

New Times has published dozens of articles on the matter since it first exploded in the news media three years ago, including a comprehensive cover story on July 23, 2009 ("All the Sheriff's Men").

The scandal centers on the group of insiders that Fox called the "SCA." Fox told Republican Party officials that the acronym stood for "Sheriff's Command Association." Fox opened a secret bank account in 2006 that grew to contain more than $113,000, thanks to the direct deposits of senior sheriff's officers and the generosity of Ellman and several of his rich friends.

Three months before the 2008 election, the state Republican Party accepted and deposited a check for $80,000 from the group, which had not filed financial reports as the law required. Three weeks later, the party accepted a $25,000 check from the SCA.

Party officials then got to work on a TV ad intended to destroy Saban's campaign. Racy material for the ad had been taken from a deposition Saban gave in a 2007 defamation lawsuit he had filed against Arpaio's office.

"He misled a government agency about allegations of rape. Saban was investigated for exposing himself to a child," the female voice-over intoned in the 30-second spot. "He masturbated on county time."

Even in the context of campaign-attack ads, the hit piece was truly dirty. Even Lisa Allen, Arpaio's spokeswoman, told investigators she thought it was "despicable" and that it made Arpaio's shop "look like scum."

Saban called Arpaio a "coward" for not admitting after the ad came out that his office had something to do with it.

The spot, which ran on October 1, 2008, drew sharp criticism from the public and was yanked off the air. The Democratic Party filed a complaint against the Arizona GOP on October 14 after learning the ad had been funded by a mystery group.

From the beginning, Sheriff's Office critics noted that the SCA and those behind it had violated one of the basic tenets of campaign-finance law — transparency.

When Fox refused to name the individual donors — which would implicate his love interest, Black — the state GOP returned the $105,000 in SCA money. But that was only after the Republican Party, which had been short of cash until the SCA arrived, spent the money on the Saban ad and a second attack ad targeting Tim Nelson, the opponent of former County Attorney Andrew Thomas that year.

The refund didn't make the problem go away for either the party or the SCA.

County elections director Karen Osborne referred the case to the County Attorney's Office. Thomas, who had a conflict of interest because of the Nelson ad, kicked the case to private attorney Jeffrey Messing.

Fox faced a fine of triple the amount of the illegal $105,000 contribution but argued with officials for months that he wasn't legally obligated to reveal the donors' names. Finally, when he had exhausted every appeal and the $315,000 fine loomed, he gave up the names in July 2009.

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My Voice Nation Help
149 comments
malasangre
malasangre

the best part of this story is the right twisting in pain to ok these guys

WhatASurprise
WhatASurprise

Is Larry Black the brother of former Liquor Commission Assistant Department head Tim Black?

Cgamble49
Cgamble49

how come we (ARIZONA) end up with all the crazy people, (Brewer,Horne,Joe,Pearce,etc.)

Chucklereader
Chucklereader

woohoo, finding love within the confines of the mcso.This is better then reading savage love.

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HARLEYKINGMAN
HARLEYKINGMAN

THIS IS REALLY STARTING 2 GET OLD ! IF THESE 2 MUD PACKERS WANT 2 VISIT EACH OTHERS CHOCOLATE STREET , LET THEM ! IT'S THEIR LIFE , LET THEM AND ONLY THEM LIVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guest
Guest

ray stern, it seems obvious to anyone who can read that "what happened" in LA (Louisiana) was the unexpected death of Deputy Gary Labenz. Clearly, it affected Fox and Black deeply. Having smeared two long-time employees of MCSO for expressing their feelings to each other about his death, i sure hope you have actual PROOF that Captain Joel Fox and Larry Black are homosexual lovers, as you've so obviously implied....otherwise, you're gonna lose your ass in the forthcoming lawsuit. Good luck.

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Alexander
Alexander

Pretty blockbuster stuff if its all true. I feel like they could have left the gay part out- if it was just two drinking buddies squandering taxpayer funds & misusing authority, I think folks would be equally up in arms.

Church lady
Church lady

New Times you guys are on fire. Keep up the excellent reporting. Expose these so called "hero."

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Anon
Anon

Typically the New Times embraces Homo-sexuality, unless it is a useful ploy to smear someone. If I were gay I would be outraged by this stab in the back and would boycott the businesses that advertise in this rag. Even if I were straight, I still would. There is far too much of hate mongering and hate bating by this rag. We need solutions not problems in this world.

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Chris In Tempe
Chris In Tempe

I honestly do not care if these men love each other or have sex together. That's none of my business. I don't understand the entire homosexual thing, but as a straight guy and a moderate old-school conservative, it doesn't affect me. Why should I give a damn about what two men do in bed? Doesn't have any bearing on my life!

This is something the new-fangled right wing conservatives should think about. What is it exactly about people's bedroom antics that make you think it's any of your business? You're supposed to be Conservatives, meaning minimal Big Brother Government attitudes. So butt out of what ain't your concern.

On the other hand, what does bother me is the lousy job the MCSO has long been doing as a law enforcement agency. Pushing a $100 million in legal costs, maybe over that by now. Endless lawsuits, mostly lost. Wrongful deaths in our jails, including a mother's unborn child. Crime ignored all over the county to fund Dog and Pony shows about illegal aliens.

Hell, MCSO isn't even all that effective at catching illegals. They completely ignore major offenders and chase the least worrisome, least costly, easiest to catch illegals while catching damned few of them AT VERY HIGH COST!

Wish I had the power, I'd fire the top 50 ranking people in MCSO. Be they law enforcement or public relations or what have you. Start at the top, boot out a bunch of these clowns.

WhatASurprise
WhatASurprise

Hotel pay per view move receipts from their trip together confirm that the pair watched Brokeback Mountain 37 times in their hotel room

WhatASurprise
WhatASurprise

It's confirmed. MCSO just hired Lt. Dangel of Reno 911 fame.

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HARLEYKINGMAN
HARLEYKINGMAN

2 MORE QUEER BOYS DYING 2 HIT EACH OTHER UP THE BUTT !

Ronny1note
Ronny1note

Wow, How embarrassing for them. Why does the media feel the need to disclose this stuff. It sounds really private and personal. Why is this an issue? Are we living in the 1950's again? How bout some real news?

Vickie
Vickie

No wonder Sheriff Joe is so "Hard-On" capturing illegals!!You can't bring charges of "Love In The 2nd Degree" if you're booted out of the country!!!Who will listen to you? lolLarry "Rubber Lips" Black. LOL

Vickie
Vickie

Sheriff Joe stars in: "The SugarPlum Sheriff".Rated R

Pf
Pf

What a moronic reporter....and news organization? The height of queer.

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Coyotesfan123
Coyotesfan123

It must be odd wanting a career in law enforcement only to be hired by MCSO and become part of a corrupt criminal organization.

Patraulea2323
Patraulea2323

I hear there's a new movie being filmed in Arizona: "Brokeback Sheriffs" :-)

MaricopaFail
MaricopaFail

Hahaha figures these dirty pigs would be gay too. So its not the inmates raping each other, its Joe and his ass pirates!

your nightmare
your nightmare

RUASSHOLE PIERCE, YOUR NEW NAME......Mr. Az. state governor.

Usgovfail
Usgovfail

Hey phoenixtimes, why don't you do some real investigative work and try and find the people who beat this giants fan to death. I bet they are LA dodgers fans, probably mexicans from LA, probably illegal too. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s...

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Sucitup
Sucitup

teen porn sites?ouch

To Tonka II
To Tonka II

Ok, so the two Deputies Bumped Butts, who cares, not my business. As for Sheriff Joe - That man does an extremely good job. He is prone to listen to others under him and not be in complete control, but Joe is honest and above board.

How do I knwo so much you ask? Because I'm around these men every day of the week.

Church Lady
Church Lady

To quote a great lady "Well, isn't that special?" Church lady would be disappointed with all the grab assing in Maricopa and well as Pinal County Sheriff's Office. Babeu the Church Lady is coming after you!

mike
mike

You have to clean out the bowl before you make the frosting.

paulA
paulA

straight dudes don't talk to each other like that.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Alexander, I don't think anyone really gives a rip if these two are actually physical lovers. The salient part about this whole issue is that Black and Fox were NOT being truthful about their involvement in the SCA criminal actions, and they were hiding their relationship, to the point of Fox actually having a hidden email account for their emotional exchanges. Putting any criminal activity aside how do you think the families of these two must feel, if indeed they are physical lovers? Imagine the danger involved for the wives, who likely didn't have a clue as to the extent of their involvement?

I think the reporter was correct to include all facets of their activity.

mike
mike

that's funny, I pictured Black as the top too...

Tina
Tina

Just change the names of these two wayward spouses (Black and Fox) to one being male, the other female.

Doesn't make any difference if those two are homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual.

The bottom line is the pervasive, deliberate, crafty and knowingly unlawful activity, initiated by Hendershott to unlawfully obtain illegal campaign contributions for the SOLE purpose of re-electing ONE political office holder (Arpaio), with re-election of his partner in crime (Thomas) being thrown in for good measure. All knowingly unlawful from day one.

While the emails might add some insight and speculation as to why the cover-up and dishonesty to investigators and the court lasted so long, it doesn't alter the purposefully unlawful actions of top people in this law enforcement agency, and the sheriff's pecking order that carried out the devious plan.

Keep the focus. MCSO, remember, is a LAW enforcement agency.

HARLEYKINGMAN
HARLEYKINGMAN

ILL BET AS THEY WATCHED BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN , THEY PLAYED BEING THE 2 QUEER COWBOYS WHO WERE IN LUV WITH EACH OTHER AND TAKING TURNS GOING UP CHOCOLATE STREET !

Cindysince1992
Cindysince1992

This is news, it's news when my taxes are paying their salaries !!!

Coyotesfan123
Coyotesfan123

It is Phoenix New Times right? Los Angeles New Times. Besides I hope hope law enforcement would investigate a murder.

busman
busman

thats right the illegals are to blame for this right you bigot! just admint your most conservative racist friends are gay!!!! ROTFL...

be*nice
be*nice

Or...perhaps YOUR PEOPLE! You are so rude nd racist.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Tina, nicely said.... I always enjoy your written word.

 
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