The Guv gives Sheriff Joe, David Hendershott and members of their Honduran posse some love. (Click on pic for a slightly larger version.)
Talk about a rogues gallery! Here's Gov. Napolitano in her June 2007 photo op with Sheriff Joe, Chief Deputy David Hendershott and members of the Honduran National Police. As I reported back in mid-January, Napolitano issued a proclamation last year declaring June 5 to be "Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service Day." You can click on the link, or read the full document below.
The photo op and the proclamation were obviously a favor to Napolitano's political ally Sheriff Joe. However, the Guv's top flack Jeanine L'Ecuyer told me via e-mail that, "There is no record regarding who originally made the request for the proclamation and drop-by; it was probably done by phone."
I asked L'Ecuyer if the Guv would do it over again knowing what we know now, that these Honduran cops were flown up here all expenses paid by the MCSO, and that this was part of an ongoing training operation in Honduras being bankrolled by county and RICO funds. L'Ecuyer did not reply to this inquiry. However, she did state that, "It may be useful to know the Governor's office prepares and presents an average of 450 proclamations per year."
Personally, I don't think that lets Napolitano off the hook. I mean, if Fidel Castro came to town and Arpaio asked her to issue him a proclamation, would she do it? If Arpaio asked Nappy to throw herself off the Luhrs Tower after making love to a koala bear, would she do it? Arpaio is now using her proclamation to excuse this misuse of RICO and taxpayer funds. Maybe that's OK with the Governor. After all, she and Arpaio are buddies. Arpaio backed her first run for Governor, if you recall, by appearing in a campaign commercial.
L'Ecuyer also wrote,
"As a courtesy to Sheriff Arpaio, the Governor honored a request from his staff to issue a proclamation in recognition of his agency's work with law enforcement in Honduras. Also as a courtesy, the Governor spent five minutes with the delegation, during which time a photo was taken. The Governor supports exchanges of law enforcement intelligence and training."
The fact that the Governor jumps when Nickel Bag Joe wants something is instructive. No wonder Arpaio gets away with murder in this burg. To be fair, it's County Attorney Thomas' office, which OKs the use of RICO funds by the MCSO. Still, the fact that the Governor allows herself to be used like a cheap, cigar-store Indian by the most tyranical public figure in the state is bile-inducing.
Remember when Nappy was U.S. Attorney for AZ? On her last day in that position, she and Arpaio had a press conference wherein they both essentially maintained that Arpaio had been exonerated of all allegations in a federal probe. Later, Arpaio appeared in that TV spot on Napolitano's behalf. One hand washes the other in Sand Land, yet somehow neither paw ever gets clean.
Below is the text of the Governor's proclamation: * BAY ISLAND SISTER AGENCY PROJECT FOR JUSTICE AND SERVICE DAY * [M07-334]
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2007, The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office launched the Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service; and
WHEREAS, on June 5, 2007, delegates from the Honduras National Police including, Jorge Alberto Rodas Gamero, Jose Guido Gomez Chavez, Salomon Escoto Salinas and Julio Robert Benitez Avila representing the Honduras National Police arrived in Maricopa County to meet with Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio to establish a liaison between the two agencies; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of the Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service is defined as a mutual aide for the exchange of information, training ideas and knowledge that will mutually benefit the citizens of Honduras and the citizens of Maricopa County, Arizona; and
WHEREAS, recognizing the individual efforts, foresight and sacrifice of the members of the Honduras National Police, represented by Jorge Alberto Rodas Gamero, Jose Guido Gomez Chavez, Salomon Escoto Salinas and Julio Robert BenitezAvila; and
WHEREAS, recognizing the individual efforts, foresight and sacrifice of Joseph M. Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County and individual members of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s for their contributions and efforts in creating and developing the Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service; and
WHEREAS, the culmination of this meeting resulted in the agreement to go forward with and establish the Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Janet Napolitano, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim June 5, 2007, as
* BAY ISLAND SISTER AGENCY PROJECT FOR JUSTICE AND SERVICE DAY *
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a day of recognition for the Bay Island Sister Agency Project for Justice and Service in recognition for service, foresight and sacrifices put forth by these members of the Honduras National Police and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona
Janet Napolitano G O V E R N O R DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this sixth day of June in the year Two Thousand and Seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Thirty-first.