Sheriff Joe Arpaio and His Fiesta Bowl Freebie

There's one thing Sheriff Joe Arpaio never lacks for: money.

Certainly in the political realm, the sheriff is well heeled. His last campaign-finance report, filed in 2010, showed he had a cool $2.8 million in cash on hand.

He probably has a lot more than that now, because Joe's camp forever is sending out hysterical appeals for donations with spurious claims, such as one I noted in a recent Feathered Bastard blog item and on our print-edition feedback page this week ("Joe Signs Crazy Rant"): It claims the sheriff is getting recalled and needs the dough to fight off the effort.

If you haven't heard about that recall effort, there's a good reason. It doesn't exist. But fools and their funds are easily parted by political fiction.

Along these lines, the sheriff's campaign solicitations are equivalent to those Nigerian e-mail scams that pop up regularly in your in-box. Which is to say, they work. Arpaio doesn't have to file another finance report until January 2012. No doubt the total at that time will cause pupils to pop.

Personally, Arpaio's done pretty well for a public servant, amassing a tidy sum of holdings, according to what can be gleaned from public records.

Recently, Arpaio and his wife, Ava, transferred the titles of various properties they own into Ava Investments LLC — the LLC meaning "limited liability company," which, as it sounds, limits their liability should they be sued.

Why is this a concern for Arpaio? After all, we, the taxpayers, shell out through the nostrils every time there's a settlement or award to the many claims drawn by the "most sued sheriff in the country."

Over the years, lawsuits resulting from Arpaio's malfeasance have cost Maricopa County close to $50 million.

By the end of the near-octogenarian's tenure — whenever that'll be — the number will be much higher, particularly after all the suits resulting from his and ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas' war on other government officials are settled.

Maybe moving his properties into an LLC is just good business. Or maybe Arpaio's preparing for the day when he'll no longer be a public figure and faces the outside chance of being dinged as a private citizen.

Arpaio and his wife formed the LLC in December 2010, according to records on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission. A review of the 10 properties in that LLC shows that Arpaio and his wife are millionaires.

Including his home in the wealthy, nearly all-white enclave of Fountain Hills, Arpaio's real estate holdings are valued at about $2 million by the county assessor. As former New Times reporter John Dougherty first noted, a good portion of these holdings were paid for in cash — $790,000 plunked down between 1994 and 2005 ("Histrionics Lesson," August 11, 2005).

Where Arpaio obtained this cash always has been a mystery, as Joe won't answer questions about it. In 2007, at a roast of Arpaio held in Sun City, I chatted with him and Ava before the event and asked Ava where the two of them scored so much liquidity with which to purchase the parcels in question.

"We've been very lucky over the years," is all Ava would say.

Arpaio does list the properties (other than his abode) on his 2010 financial-disclosure form. And he lists Ava's Starworld Travel Agency as an asset worth anywhere between $25,000 and $100,000. The form also shows that he and Ava are debt-free.

The county tells me that Arpaio's salary is $100,824. It used to be reported that he got another $65,000 a year in pension money from his time at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. I'm not clear on whether he still receives the pension, as he used to note it on his financial disclosures, but for 2010, it isn't mentioned.

The sheriff, as we all know, is a celebrity and flies all over the country regularly, speaking to groups, appearing on such TV shows as The Colbert Report, and shilling for political candidates.

Precious little of this has been reported over the years in his financial-disclosure forms. At least three times, he's listed "gifts" of more than $500 in value from the Knife and Fork Club, a social group that exists in various cities and books speakers to hold forth before members.

Which Knife and Fork Clubs and what these "gifts" entailed are not mentioned.

The American Management Association also gifted Arpaio a couple of times. I'm still waiting to hear from Allen on the specs of the AMA and Knife and Fork Club handouts.

There is one curious entry for 2005, a "planning trip" to Beverly Hills, paid for by the Arizona Sports Foundation, a.k.a. the Fiesta Bowl. The entry shows both Joe and Ava as "recipients," meaning they traveled together on the Fiesta Bowl's dime.

For weeks, I've been pestering the Fiesta Bowl for details of this trip, but Fiesta Bowl spokeswoman Kristen Pflipsen had not dug up anything by press time.

However, surprisingly, top MCSO flack Lisa Allen got back to me with the following statement:

"Sheriff Arpaio and his wife traveled to Burbank on Friday, Sept 16, 2005, as guests of the Fiesta Bowl Committee. The Sheriff toured Fox Sports studios that Friday evening as a possible interview guest but does not recall if he was, in fact, interviewed.

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Discrimination Suit Against Arizona Sheriff DismissedUpdated: Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011, 12:27 PM MSTPublished : Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011, 7:32 AM MST

PHOENIX - A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit accusing the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office of discrimination, negligence and abuse during a worksite enforcement raid.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen McNamee issued a ruling that dismissed the suit on the grounds the Sheriff's Office and county administrators did not know of, participate in or authorize any unconstitutional conduct during the February 2009 raid on a Phoenix landscaping firm.

Celia Alvarez was among the 40 people arrested on suspicion of identity theft and fraud claimed in her lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office that she was subjected to unreasonable search and seizure and was injured by a deputy during the raid.

The judge ruled the defendant could not prove her case.

Ja12262
Ja12262

I grew up here and there was a time I loved this place. Joe just epitomizes everything that is wrong with Phoenix and I cannot wait to get out.

599Gotrobbed
599Gotrobbed

who owns canteen where inmates buy items?

FakFamm
FakFamm

That pompous redneck hillbilly sheriff arpaio is a reall piece of dog shi# if you ask me. That windbag is clearly corrupt as the day long.

www.web-anon.at.tc

Trommy Themulus
Trommy Themulus

Joe sure does know how to get attention both good and bad. In Hollywood they say there is no such thing as bad press.

Ricosuave
Ricosuave

Very lucky that they haven't been caught with all their bloodguilt, corruption, theft embezzlement, forgery and fruad. Screw him!! He better hope there is no-one like a Laughner out there looking for him.

Philozopher
Philozopher

Now, now, the proper term is either "dancer" or "exotic dancer", let's show a little respect for the folks mentioned in this article who do actually work for a living.

Omar Tentmaker
Omar Tentmaker

Stephen Lemons' seemingly never-to-end crusade against the politically popular elected sheriff continues. If Sheriff Joe runs again in 2012, Dan Saban has about as much chance of becoming sheriff as PNT becoming other than a far left media propaganda voice.

JesusHChrist
JesusHChrist

Saban isn't running, dumbass. Mike Stauffer is. If you weren't so busy pitching your own tent, you'd know that.

Bobunf
Bobunf

Omar, somehow a never-to-end crusade against a corrupt politician the voters should the sense not to elect seems like a pretty worthy cause.

Joe accomplishes nothing in the way of real law enforcement. He divides the community and appeals to worst instincts of humans: fear of the stranger (arresting dishwashers and laundry ladies the Feds won't even deport) and voyeuristic sadism, like 145 in the tents.

The voter will pay for their disrespect of American values. We read muti-thousand dollar judgments, awards and settlements every week. And it will got a lot worse as the 6,000 pending lawsuits keep moving through the system with many more to come.

Once the Billion Dollar Bill becomes apparent, if will be too late, but I can hear Omar, "I was never in favor of that."

Coz
Coz

hey dumbshit, Saban is running in 2012....try putting you're brain in gear before putting your mouth into motion.

BleenGloob
BleenGloob

This is Joey's fund for his prostate surgery. It costs a bunch to remove a prostate as big as camelback mountain. Were so lucky to have an incontinent sherff.......99.5 million for depends too.......LOL

vekboo
vekboo

I suspect most of that $2.8 MIL came from corruption and bribery. That pompous redneckk hillbilly is clearly corrupt as the day is long lol.

www.total-anon.at.tc

Jason
Jason

If anyone needed a clearer picture or another round of MCSO shurf bullshit/corruption, including Dennis Burke, this is it.

Yup, another really good reason to boot this stupid old man outta office and welcome Stauffer.

Made Millions off felons
Made Millions off felons

Joe owns the vending machines used the jail he encourages you to bring in lots of cash!! Its a scam!

guest
guest

Garbaio/scarry talking toy!!!Garbage can on two lergs/badge and pink undies optional!Many small moving parts around the MOUTH can pose a chocking risk.Change the channel on your TV .Maybe disturbing to most viewers!

Shippy
Shippy

Garpaio/scarry talking toy!!!Garbage can on two legs!Many small moving parts (especially around the MOUTH) can pose a chocking risk.Play safely or change the channel on your TV if children start crying.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Hey, Stephen-

Browse the many sites which carry prisoner experiences in the Maricopa County Jail, and one claim you will see repeated constantly is that the vending machines in the jail are owned by a family member of Shurf Joe. If true, that may provide an answer to the question of where he and wifey got all that friggin' money.

It also goes a long way towards explaining Arpayaso's penchant for serving two really inedible meals a day. People will beg, borrow or steal to get even a crappy packet of Ramen out of those vending machines to supplement the abominable jail diet. The Ramen is said to go for two bucks a packet out of the vending machines, go someplace like Sam's Club and get the same stuff for twenty cents. Crappy jail food = mo money for Joe and his family.

Wouldn't that make a hell of a story?

Lhall1955
Lhall1955

I heard his wife's business. He supplies them from Costco. New Times did that article before. PAY ATTENTION!!

Coz
Coz

Not just the vending machines, the "in jail canteen store" as well. Mark ups as high as 1000 percent.

ForLibs2envy
ForLibs2envy

As far as I am concerned, the worse the food is in jail, the better! Scum-bag's that commit crimes against honest people don't deserve any comforts whatsoever while being incarcerated. They are in jaol to be punished, not coddled. Go back to California, and don't let the door hit you in your "money-maker" on the way out!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

The "Scum-bags WHO commit crimes", in this story are the members of MCSO

MORON

Dianne Harris
Dianne Harris

Most of the people in jail are there waiting for trial and are supposed to be presumed INNOCENTuntil proven guilty. They are not supposed to be punished in there until they have been found GUILTY of a crime and sentenced. Most of them cannot afford bail or they have been accused of something that does not qualify for bail.

David Saint
David Saint

LOL what an idiot you are! We are pointing out the likely embezzlement of funds from the jail canteen, not coddling anyone. More specifically, that Eva's brother runs the jail canteen and there has never been an audit of these funds. Get your head out of joes ass, and start paying attention!!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Housing criminals in barbaric conditions only creates more angry and violent criminals WHO WILL SOMEDAY BE BACK IN SOCIETY. You can punish people without "coddling" or abusing them.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

David, a reply to someone like this (likely an MCSO employee trying their infamous spin technique) is a waste of time and effort. If no is around to read it to that person they will never understand what you've said....

Also, it appears you may have typed too quickly for him to keep up....

Mistalee
Mistalee

"The Knife and Fork Club."

An appropriate name for an Arpaio benefactor.

In my neck of the woods, people like Arpaio and his lieutenant Brown are said to "comer con dos manos," to eat with both hands.

It is not a reflection on their table manners. It is a colloquial expression indicating that someone is a greedy bastard who takes all he can with no thought for others.

FormerRepublican
FormerRepublican

This filthy dirty crook needs to be stopped and stopped now. He has all the earmarks of a street thug.....

Give it up Arpaio. You are way too old, way too used up and way too transparent. We all see you for what you really are....a dirty, filthy thief.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

FR, you seem a bit vague in your description of him. How do you REALLY feel? :-)

Ted
Ted

When will the IRS go after this criminal poser? The asshole deserves to spend the rest of his life in a tent with his colleagues in criminality. His wife can throw her panties in to him along with those of the other prisoners of the female persuasion.

Mistalee
Mistalee

"His wife can throw her panties in to him along with those of the other prisoners of the female persuasion"

If they are pink, Joe will be wearing them later. Never seen a pink undie fetish quite as extreme as Joe's.

Ron
Ron

I understand the commissary at the county jails is owned by his wife or family. What do you know about this?

Coz
Coz

That they have been making a killing off the inmates for years and never been audited.

Dianne Harris
Dianne Harris

Someone I know said that not only is the food terrible, we are paying for donated food that is gleened from locale stores. Also a lot of it is way past the sell by and use by dates. The stuff from the canteen is sold at retail price and some of it is out of date too. It is also donated. I know a lot of people think that someone in jail does not deserve any better. But lets say someone said you did something wrong and you are totally innocent and get thrown in jail with no way to pay bail or hire a lawyer. How would you feel? Pretty sad, huh?

Mistalee
Mistalee

Any idea who owns and operates the vending machines? Like a business name that could be verified with the corporation commission?

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Will Arpaio get the Montypoodle and the court jester Denny Willingcheckbook to go after the New Times again for looking into his financial disclosures?

Coz
Coz

Right, lucky they've able to screw the tax payers for so many years.

>>"We've been very lucky over the years," is all Ava would say.

Coz
Coz

Lets not forget about all the attorney's fee's from the most sued Bozo sheriff in the US.

>>Over the years, lawsuits resulting from Arpaio's malfeasance have cost Maricopa County close to $50 million.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

He's a whore with a badge, as an elected official. Certainly not a cop.

Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen / Taxpayer

Tommy and Coz, Well said. The sheriff is a puppet for a much larger "system" that has taken control of the state. Have you attended any of the public hearings for the 5,000 private prison beds, being in quick succession in the small desert towns including Goodyear in the West Valley? The sheriff, Senator Pearce and the legislators who voted for the mass incarceration of Arizona's people and visitors are puppets for the corporate pimps turning Arizona into their piggy bank. Very disturbing and sinister.

 
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