Does Joe Arpaio Really Need Constant Heavy Security?
Elderly Sheriff Joe Arpaio, after losing a fight with a sidewalk.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is defending the taxpayer cost of his pricey security detail.
Actually, Arpaio released a memo written by members of the security detail, who defended their overtime payments, which have reached as much as $24,000 for one person in a year.
The memo was released after the Arizona Republic found overtime costs from June 2012 to June 2013 totaled more than $120,000.
It's unclear why exactly Arpaio needs 'round-the-clock protection, since almost every single one of the so-called "death threats" against the elderly sheriff lack any evidence of intent. Most of the "threats" are things said in various online forums, far away from Maricopa County.
Unless one shred of evidence is ever provided, it seems pretty clear that the "cartel bounty" on Arpaio's head is imaginary. Perhaps the most credible plot against Arpaio was the one set up by the MCSO itself (which eventually yielded a settlement for the man used as a pawn in the plot).
His security team failed at keeping him safe from the sidewalk outside Arpaio's office, where a trip and fall landed him in the hospital.
Based on what you know, do you think Arpaio really needs this costly security detail?
Cast your vote below:
Send feedback and tips to the author.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.