The list revealed that Hendershott and Black were donors, as were wealthy people with ties to Arpaio and Hendershott. But even then, Fox lied about the extent of Black's involvement. In one e-mail to Black during Messing's inquiry, Fox admits he was trying to shield Black.

Meanwhile, in December 2008, the state elections department referred the SCA matter to the Arizona Attorney General's Office, sparking a criminal investigation. That probe stalled last year as former state AG Terry Goddard, a Democrat, fought unsuccessfully for the governor's seat against Republican Jan Brewer. Tom Horne, the new Republican state AG, deferred the case last month to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

So whether the scheme's perpetrators get brought to justice now rests with federal officials, who have run a parallel investigation into the SCA scandal since 2009 — and who are checking into other allegations against Arpaio's office, including abuse of power.

Fox and Black did not return e-mails or calls for this article.

It's unclear why the state couldn't produce an indictment. Judging by an 802-page investigative report on the case released last month by the AG's Office, evidence of crimes appears solid.

The one glaring omission: No evidence directly links Sheriff Arpaio to the scandal.

New Times filed a legal request for the SCA report in January, after Horne took office. The records finally were released three weeks ago, after the newspaper threatened to sue under the state's public records law.

Inside the report are write-ups of dozens of interviews, e-mails, and other evidence gathered in searches of Hendershott's e-mail account and of Fox's home (including the love letters between him and Black), as well as summaries of various findings by veteran lead investigator Mike Edwards. The entire report can be read on New Times' website ("SCA Report Reveals Depth of Conspiracy," April 1).

It's an unprecedented look into criminal behavior within the Sheriff's Office.

The report details how Fox, Black, GOP leaders, and some SCA contributors were evasive, suffered from memory lapses, or lied blatantly when confronted by investigators.

It proves how Fox — who basically was just a patsy used by Hendershott and Black for the SCA scheme — lied to election officials, an administrative law judge, the news media, and even his own family.

And it reveals how much the scandal is connected to the love that Fox and Black apparently share.


The SCA debacle was the brainchild of David Hendershott.

The chief deputy is Arpaio's most trusted aide — or at least, he was until the sheriff put his second-in-command on paid administrative leave last September, along with Black and Fox. They're all in big trouble, and not just because of the SCA. MCSO Deputy Chief Frank Munnell implicated the three men in a raft of policy violations and potential crimes. Munnell outlined his allegations in a widely publicized 65-page memo ("Joe Arpaio's Watergate," September 17).

Since the case involved Arpaio's most senior deputy, Hendershott, the sheriff asked Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu to review Munnell's accusations. The SCA case report digs into the background of why all this came out: Munnell's wife had phoned Hendershott to tell him that her husband was talking to the FBI, which has conducted a long-running abuse-of-power investigation into Arpaio's office. Munnell, worried that Hendershott would retaliate against him, launched a preemptive strike with last September's tell-all memo. The results of Babeu's investigation are expected to be released any day now.

In his powerful position, Hendershott had the ability to turn on the charm or the intimidation. He's the man who ran the Sheriff's Office while Arpaio was out scoring photo-ops at busts of maids and gardeners in illegal-immigration raids, and Hendershott has been Arpaio's campaign manager and primary fundraiser. Just before the last election, he was said to have taken several weeks off from his county job to crank on the sheriff's campaign.

Two years before the election, in the summer of 2006, Hendershott called Karen Osborne, the director of county elections, and asked her to meet him at a Coco's restaurant in Phoenix. They'd never had a meeting outside county offices before, she later told investigators.

Hendershott informed her that he was interested in setting up a political committee and wanted advice about corporate funding.

"We've got big money we can get to out there," Hendershott said. "There is big money we can bring in to this effort."

She remembers him saying, "We've got to crush these people."

Osborne said to AG's Office investigators that he was "referring to the opponents for the sheriff's next election."

Osborne explained to Hendershott that under state law, corporate money could be donated only to organizations that focus on political issues, not to candidates. If corporations donated directly to a PAC that aimed to help Arpaio's race, for example, the money would "ink the well," tainting the rest of the PAC's money, she told him.

The best way to handle the matter was to set up two PACs, she said. One could help the candidate, and the other, which could contain corporate donations, could help with general political issues.

(The maximum contribution an individual could give to both candidates and PACs that help candidates in county races in the 2008 calendar year was $5,610. As will be detailed, five SCA contributors chipped in more than that.)

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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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mike
mike

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

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.

paulA
paulA

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

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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

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 !

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?

Cindysince1992
Cindysince1992

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

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...

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.

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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!

 
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