Sheriff Joe Arpaio released an internal MCSO memo in an attempt to defend his pricey security detail.
According to the guys "protecting" Arpaio from a series of not-so-credible death threats, everything they do is completely necessary for the sheriff's safety. Then again, most people would say whatever the hell they have to in order to defend being paid as much as $24,000 in overtime in a year.
The memo's release was in response to an Arizona Republic article last week reporting overtime costs for Arpaio's security detail "have increased dramatically in the past year."
Overtime costs from June 2012 to June 2013 totaled more than $120,000, according to the Republic's report.
That seems excessive, especially since some of these "death threats" are just plain made up.
There's never been a single shred of evidence that there ever was a bounty on Arpaio's head placed by a drug cartel. 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).
The only injuries Arpaio's sustained on the job are a bruised ego, handed down by a federal judge in the racial-profiling case against Arpaio, and a sidewalk outside his office that was too much for the elderly sheriff to handle, as he slipped and landed in the hospital.
Most of the "death threats" busted up are people far away from Maricopa County, who say mean things on the Internet. We couldn't tell you the last time there was any indication of intent in any of these cases.
Yet, here's this memo from a pair of guys on the "Sheriff's security/threats management" squad, defending the overtime pay.
Among other things, Deputy Patrick Lazzari and Detective Thomas Rossi claim Arpaio "continues to receive threats to this day based solely on his time with the DEA," which would mean someone's been holding in a grudge for at least, what, 30 years?
"The truth is that we cannot speak for the law enforcement agencies that provide security for other elected officials," the memo states. "We do not know nor are we making judgments on their staffing, needs, pay rates, overtime, etc. Our sole purpose for writing you this open letter and in responding to the article written by the Republic comes down to one thing......pride."
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Read the whole gushy letter on the next page.
Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.