Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Steven Carpenter was put back on the street despite his role in helping another deputy commit an assault in North Dakota.
Carpenter drove with Detective Tim Abrahamson on September 16 to North Dakota, and possibly all the way to the West Fargo home of Jason Swart, the man who had slept with Abrahamson's wife. Once at the home, Abrahamson allegedly created a ruse to distract Swart, then pummeled him severely. Swart lost part of an ear in the attack.
It's not clear yet if Carpenter was in the vehicle Abrahamson had rented when the attack took place. But if so, it means that Carpenter didn't just drive with Abrahamson -- he helped stake out the place and stood by as the assault occurred.
In any case, Carpenter certainly knew plenty: Cass County prosecutors in North Dakota gave him legal immunity so he could tattle on Abrahamson.
Authorities suspected Abrahamson soon after the assault and contacted the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Abrahamson was put on paid leave at first. On November 7, he was arrested on a North Dakota warrant and put on unpaid leave by the Maricopa Sheriff's Office.
Carpenter, however, wasn't put on administrative leave until November 8, the Sheriff's Office tells New Times.
We wanted to know why he was back on the streets from September through the time he was put on leave, but the Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, could tell us no more. He couldn't even say if Carpenter was put on paid or unpaid leave, or whether the Sheriff's Office was planning to investigate Carpenter for possible policy violations.
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"We're not going to talk about it" because of the pending investigation of Abrahamson, Enriquez says.
Meanwhile, Abrahamson -- once a key detective in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's corrupt anti-corruption task force -- posted a $20,000 bond to get out of Maricopa County jail, then went to North Dakota for a hearing today in Cass County District Court before Judge John Irby.
Prosecutor Ryan Younggren asked Irby to require Abrahamson to post another $20,000 bond, but Irby required the detective to post half that amount. Abrahamson, who lives in Arizona, will have to travel back and forth to make his future court dates.
Younggren told the court that it was "heartbreaking" to have a law officer as a defendant, but worried that Abrahamson's "knowledge of the system" could mean that he won't return for all the court heaings, according to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.