I'm on the run, but I've just heard that KTAR has reported that Sheriff Joe's suspending his Chief Deputy David Hendershott's pet Honduran project -- one that's been financed by RICO funds to the tune of about $32K. According to KTAR's Bob McClay, Arpaio told KTAR that,
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm telling my staff that, until we get out of this budget crunch, we're going to put it on hold. We could always communicate via telephone, that's not difficult, or letter. But, right now, we're not sending anybody back there. That's my decision."
Funny. I asked Arpaio about all this back in January when I first wrote about it for the blog and for The Bird. Arpaio just looked at me like I was nuts, and said he does not answer questions from the New Times.
The program had the stated purpose of training Honduran cops. Arpaio justified it to KTAR by saying the Board of Supervisors and Governor Napolitano were all for it.
"Actually, we gave a briefing before the Board of Supervisors," said Arpaio. "They all loved this program. The governor gave it a nice award."
He also argued that the Honduran enterprise was dead cheap, even though it was all done on the county dime.
"Our budget is 285-million dollars. You talk about 30-thousand, we just spit and we spend 30-thousand," spendthrift Joe informed KTAR.
He also told the reporter, "We got one-million photos from Honduras, one-million to go into our facial recognition program to identify terrorists and to catch people who are fugitives."
Funny. I've put in public records requests asking for EVERYTHING the MCSO's got on this program. There's nothing in there about thousands of photos.
Anyway, remember where you heard about this Honduran story first. I don't have time to post all the links, but here are my two past blog items. I'm also skeptical that this program will really be suspended. More as I get it.
"Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Chief Deputy David Hendershott in Honduras???" (Sat Jan 12, 2008 at 03:27:14 PM)
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"Sheriff Joe Arpaio pays for the training of Honduran cops with RICO funds to the tune of around $32K, and counting." (Sat Feb 23, 2008 at 03:09:53 PM)
PS: Here's a link to The Bird item on the subject from January 24, "Jabba in Paradise." Also, The Bird column this week discusses the story at length.
I'm glad KTAR scored these quotes from Joe, as Joe wouldn't go on camera for the pieces Joe Dana did for Channel 12 News on the story, and Joe generally refuses to answer any queries from New Times. I don't know why...heh...