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Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, August 6, 2009

ARIZONA'S SHAME

Throw out the trash: I love Phoenix and Arizona, but we will forever be a second-rate city and an embarrassment until we clean up the political scene by throwing out the trash.

[The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's] Joe Arpaio, Joel Fox, David Hendershott, and Lisa Allen, as well as County Attorney Andrew Thomas, need to go.

I believe both sides of the political aisle, Dems and Republicans, are to blame for letting Arpaio become the de facto celebrity ruler of our state. Arpaio and his henchmen have hurt our state, its citizens, the local economy, and our future. With civic leaders like we have endured in our state for so long, we continue to deserve the reputation of uneducated, redneck, and out of date.

I give kudos to Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon for denouncing Arpaio's racial profiling and the ACLU for suing him to stop racial profiling. It isn't enough, though; our trusted political leaders on both sides — from our governor to our senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl — should stand up and denounce Arpaio and his clan. (Yeah, that'll be the day — when McCain does anything more than fumble over the subject of Arpaio.)

Kudos to Sarah Fenske for writing this hard-hitting look into the crooked way Arpaio has secured his cushy tyrant's job and positions of privilege for cronies like Fox and the band of fork-tongued evildoers.
Drew Gibson, Phoenix

Let them rot in Tent City: There's only one place MCSO Captain Joel Fox, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Chief Deputy David Hendershott need to go, and that's to trial and then to jail. My dream would be to see Fat and Fatter (Arpaio and Hendershott) get forced to endure years in Tent City awaiting trial.

But Hendershott seems to be the biggest fish that might get gigged in this Sheriff's Command Association scandal. Arpaio's like a cockroach; he'll survive even this mess.
McGraw Johnson, Phoenix

Where's Goddard in all this?: I'm not sure which is more unconscionable — the corruption at the MCSO or the fact that the rest of the Valley's media have barely made a peep about the latest clear case of corruption at the county's top law-enforcement agency.

If Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has an ounce of integrity and fortitude, he will make sure that this is fully investigated. That's his job. If he doesn't, he wouldn't be any better a governor than would Arpaio. He'd be just another self-interested politician covering his own ass.
Chad Snow, Peoria

Find someone unafraid of Arpaio: Great article. Very pointed and factual. As always, I think what it boils down to is: Who isn't afraid of Arpaio and who will step up and do the right thing?

I say let Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu run an investigation. Babeu has shown he can be fair and impartial, and I doubt he is afraid of Joe. I'm sure whichever agency does get put in charge of this will get the usual harassment and intimidation from Hendershott and Arpaio. So whoever it is must possess a proven level of integrity, and a big pair of stones.

It's time to see MCSO employees held to the same laws as you and I, with the same punishments. Or worse (they know the law; they should be held to a higher standard). The law was clearly broken. Now let's sit back and see who has the integrity and fortitude to [investigate].
David Saint, Phoenix

There is no real law enforcement: If the sheriff's cronies don't go down for this one, there is no real law enforcement in Arizona. Pray that Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard doesn't just wimp out, as usual. These seem to be state law violations, unless the feds can figure out a way to prosecute the scumbags.
Santana Crosby, Phoenix

The Foxian spin: You assume the [Sheriff's Command Association] was a political committee from its inception, but even County Elections says SCA did not become a political committee until August 22, 2008, when I sent money to the Republican Party.

But that's only because it assumes, like you, that giving money to a political party is, by default, for the purpose of influencing an election. Unless stated otherwise, money given to parties must be for elections, right? Wrong. The law does not make this assumption, although judges sometimes do. In fact, the law specifically says that money used by parties specifically may not be for the purposes of influencing elections. So how my money fell into the imaginary default position of election-related, I can only imagine. But it certainly is not based on any law.

I never told you that David Hendershott was not an SCA donor. I told you the donations that went to the Republican Party did not come from him or Sheriff Arpaio. At the time you asked the question, you didn't know if there was more than $105,000, so we only talked about the $105,000. We never discussed additional donations to the SCA.

Although I can see how you might not like my accounting style, or agree with how I divide up the money in the SCA account, I find it very telling that you characterize this as a "lie to my face."

You've been writing false and abusive articles about this series of events since just a few days after the Democrats' complaint in October. Following the hearing, obviously feeling very sympathetic, you write an article that says [you're] confused . . . and that my testimony hardly helped my cause.

Apparently, it is impossible for a person to have an actual life outside of work, or do anything without immediately reporting it to the sheriff or chief deputy. According to your imagination, all us "dummies" over at the MCSO get put away at the end of the day, locked in some chest until the sheriff or chief deputy lets us out and pulls our strings so we can walk and talk.

I can see now why you don't want me to raise money to refute the lies told in the media about MCSO deputies and detention officers. If I did, you'd be held accountable. And that would ruin all your fun.
Captain Joel Fox, MCSO

Fox is a joke: [Joel Fox's] continuing protests are laughable. The meaning of SCA absolutely has a bearing on things? If the meaning is Sheriff's Command Association (as in the MCSO's meddling in politics instead of law enforcement), then we need to know.

Please stop trying to cloud the issue. I hope a federal law enforcement agency steps in on this case and really investigates. Joe has a habit of intimidation and false investigations against any person or agency who does not toe his line.

Maybe if we get some officers and attorneys [investigating this whom] he has no sway over, we might see the "blue wall" go down. It would be nice to see sheriff's officers held to the same laws they are sworn to uphold!
Name withheld

Indictment for Fox in the future?: Joel Fox continues to ask exactly what types of crimes he may have committed. Okay, Joel, here goes:

Lying to the public regarding the involvement of MCSO, covering up your actions regarding the SCA, failure to legally file your "campaign" according to state regulations; failure to provide the public full disclosure into the donors of said campaign; and trying to hide donations made for an illegal purpose.

You want the public to believe that Steve Ellman's and other outsiders' money was the money spent to run the smear ads while Hendershott's, yours, and that of others [inside the MCSO] went to, what, administrative costs? Fundraising expenses?

Joel, anything you do at this point — short of resigning — looks further like a cover-up. I will not be surprised if, after the checkbooks and money trail are examined further, you don't end up with some felony indictments, along with others on the MCSO staff.
Name withheld

Send them to jail: Outstanding investigative reporting. [The officials you mention] all need to be SWAT-teamed, sent to jail, and held non-bondable, as they would do to any one of us.

Since there is no presumption of innocence or due process given to people in the county, then this group needs to receive the same treatment.
Name withheld

Get ready to be outraged: Who is paying for lawyer Dennis Wilenchik to represent the MCSO employees? Are they paying out of their own pocket for his legal representation? [The county says it won't pay their legal bills in this matter.]

I for one will be outraged if we find out that Hendershott and the others are treated to a "criminal" defense at the expense of taxpayers.
Name withheld

Andy Thomas — coward of the county: Will Fox and the others who are suspected of criminal activity be placed on the Brady List? Surely, the lies told by these so-called "professional law officers" would place any court case in which they testify in jeopardy.

Also, can someone please tell me where the infamous Andrew Thomas is with an investigation of this whole sad tale? He was quick, along with the sheriff, to announce investigation after investigation to the media, very few of them ever coming to fruition.

Where is this coward now?
Name withheld


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