TURNING UP THE HEAT
Nice to know: It's gratifying to learn, since reading the Michael Lacey article that appeared at the end of the year, that grand juries are looking into the actions of Joe Arpaio and his henchmen at the state and federal levels ("Joel Fox Testifies Before Grand Jury in SCA Case," Valley Fever blog, December 18, and "Arpaio Grand Jury Probe Begins".
We've known for some time that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating civil rights abuses by Joe's department against Hispanic Americans and illegal immigrants, but it's nice to learn that the grand juries are also considering criminal action.
New Timesw feedback
I've been told that authorities sometimes convene grand juries to look as though they are seriously probing abuses by the likes of Arpaio, when in fact they plan to do squat. In other words, they want to get the public off their backs so they pawn off the problem on a grand jury, and if the grand jury fails to [indict], they say, "Sorry, we tried!"
But I don't believe this is the case here. I believe that the Obama administration's U.S. Attorney's Office, in particular, wouldn't be parading witnesses into the grand jury chamber if it didn't think there was a prosecutable case against Joe and his goons. Because God (and everybody who's followed this situation) knows there's low-hanging illegal fruit to be picked when it comes to crooked old Joe.
Juan Moran, Phoenix
Goddard's ticket to the guv's office?: Indeed, the nooses must be cut down! And we're counting on state Attorney General Terry Goddard's office to slash them with its SCA [Sheriff's Command Association] investigation. If Goddard brings down the likes of Captain Joel Fox, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, and (hope against hope!) Joe Arpaio, he deserves to be elected governor.
Goddard, this is the time for you to stand up for what's right in your home county and, at the same time, ride this investigation into the governor's office! You'd be a fool not to take advantage of this situation.
As for the feds, Godspeed, too. I pray the U.S. Attorney will convene "perp walks" for Arpaio, Hendershott, and the rest of Arpaio's Mafia before it's over. I, too, will be standing in the lobby of the federal courthouse for that Joe Show.
Rob Warner, Phoenix
Joe twists the numbers to suit him: The "35,000 captured and deported illegal aliens" referred to in Arpaio's fundraising letter, should be understood as follows:
Maricopa County is the fifth-largest county in the nation and has one of the highest proportions of Hispanic residents (both legal and illegal). The police departments in Phoenix and other cities and towns in Maricopa County deliver all arrested criminals (of all races and nationalities) to Arpaio's county jail for booking.
The MCSO's detention officers, operating under their federal 287(g) authority (the jail portion of which was never rescinded) then sort through the prisoners arrested and delivered by other law enforcement agencies to determine the residency status of each.
The illegal aliens discovered thereby, along with the two dozen or so whom the MCSO itself picks up in its bi-monthly "sweeps" and a few more it gets in even more occasional drop-house raids, provides the 35,000 figure. The little bit of the MCSO's own arrests, dumped on top of the mountain produced by everybody else, makes this "captured" figure "more than all of the other 64 local law enforcement agencies combined."
None of Arpaio's statements quoted by Michael Lacey from this letter are technically untrue; the flim-flam and prevarication arise from Arpaio's attempt, by suggestion, to mislead his supporters into giving the MCSO full or primary credit, rather than the marginal contribution they can rightly claim credit for.
In other words, as an enforcer of immigration law, the MCSO's arrest record is small and weak.
Emil Pulsifer, Phoenix
Everything to lose: Janet Napolitano and Terry Goddard have one very important thing in common: They're both cowards.
These two would never do anything to jeopardize their political futures. Do not count on Napolitano or Goddard to stand up to JoKKKe Arpaio and Candy Thomas.
Polk is doing Goddard's job: Sheila Polk is my hero!
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Finally, someone with integrity — along with a couple hundred Phoenix lawyers — has spoken out against this longtime conspiracy in Maricopa County.
I think it's especially telling when this person is someone hired to prosecute the drivel trumped up by Thomas and the other miscreants, and then refused to do so, returning the whole package to Maricopa County with a simple "no thanks."
This should be the catalyst to make something happen at that [the attorney general's] level. This could be the perfect opportunity for Terry Goddard to save face by using the action of Polk as the "cause" for intense investigation and action against Thomas and the MCSO gang of misfits.
It's just too bad the action had to come from a county attorney, and not the AG, in the first place.