Letters from the issue of Thursday, March 6, 2008
Mr. Pitiful: This is an incredible story of arrogance by a public official ("The (Auto)biography of Andrew P. Thomas," Sarah Fenske, February 28). Imagine this little weasel sitting up late at night propagandizing his Wikipedia entry! At around the same time as the arrests of the New Times executives!
Here, [County Attorney] Thomas is the laughingstock of the entire country ("Who's Sorry Now?" Stephen Lemons, October 25), and he's attempting to erase any record of that, along with lots of other embarrassing stuff, from a Web site that's read by millions. This says more about the dishonesty of this martinet than anything I've read.
There are so many reasons why Andrew P. Thomas should follow his mentor, Joe Arpaio, into oblivion. But this proves what a pitiful, pious hypocrite he is. Aren't religious guys like he claims to be supposed to at least be honest? This little man is just another lying sack politician. I had very little respect for Apt37 before I read this New Times story; now I have none.
Please, please, voters, go to the polls in November and send "Little Joe" Thomas packing back to ex-special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik's law firm. He's only fit for mold work. Better still, can't somebody please disbar [Thomas and Wilenchik]. What ever happened to the Arizona Bar Association's investigations of them?
John Price, Phoenix
Wikipedia didn't count on guys like this: Great article. Interesting how the Wikipedia "creed" is to have fair, neutral, objective articles about people like Andrew Thomas.
Gregory Kohs, via the Internet
Thomas' twisted psyche: Damn, you're good! Really enjoyed your article. It gives insight into [Andrew Thomas'] personality, the unreality of [his] psyche. The guy defines vanity.
The darker, more dangerous side of this individual's mindset — the void of decency and compassion — were clearly evident in ABC's 20/20 transcripts regarding the Matt Bandy prosecution ("Doubting Thomas," Sarah Fenske, January, 25, 2007). [Thomas'] responses are of the nature of dogma, rhetoric.
Name withheld by request
A slam dunk? Let's hope so: Never has there been such a slam-dunk lawsuit against these two so-called public servants [Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Thomas] as the one New Times proposes to file ("Blowback" February 21, Stephen Lemons). Andrew Thomas has already admitted in a news conference broadcast nationwide that his office screwed up. He has thrown his special prosecutor under the bus for running a rogue investigation, etc.
At first, I wondered why New Times would seek money damages, but I've come to believe that is the only way to get those two fools' attention and the public's. You should have sued for $150 million instead of $15 million. Maybe if you won that kind of judgment, voters would finally see that Joe Arpaio's malfeasance and corruption have cost us way too much.
The only way to get voters' attention around here is to hit them in the wallet. They care nothing about all the hapless prisoners, detained for minor offenses or awaiting trial for crimes they may or may not have committed, whom Arpaio has killed in his jails, while Andrew Thomas has sat around and condoned it.
Thank God New Times has the balls to stand up to these cruel tyrants. Never give up the fight.
Al Rodriguez, Phoenix
Exposing the new "troubles": From issue one of New Times, I have followed the evolution of this community's newspaper (for over 30 years now). Since being lambasted in issue one for my failure to produce Leon Russell, John Stewart, and the Carpenters at our SummersEnd Festival at Big Sur due to a hundred-year storm, I have enjoyed this newspaper's ongoing commitment to serving its readers with the hard and soft facts of life in this Valley of the Sun.
Indeed, we are all bozos on this bus and must acknowledge that our community has changed and the players — elected and suspected of leading us into world-class status — deserve inspection. Who would have thought that Lacey and Larkin would have become media moguls in our times? Not me.
Reading the "Blowback" story, I am enthused to respect our homegrown moguls for still acting as responsible citizens of our community to expose the serious flaws of certain elected officials and to hold them accountable for their actions. Kudos to them and the New Times staff.
[Former New Times writer ] John Dougherty may well have been proclaimed a saint in Ireland for his coverage of "The Troubles" we are experiencing in the Valley of the Sun. We today are, indeed, troubled by the lawlessness of law enforcement officials who are sworn to protect and serve. If, indeed, to protect and serve is the mantra of our law enforcement, then we are being poorly served by officials who are re-elected to posts that their PR machines have created out of public ignorance.
The troubles today are no less than serious. Educating the electorate is an important component to securing our future. How do we reach Sun City and other immigrants as to the threat unbridled law enforcement poses to our community? We would pray for the constant vigilance of our press and others who pass along the message that we are a free people and will not be intimidated by loudmouth political posturing that confuses the real issues.
Thank you, New Times, for turning over the rocks and exposing the slime that lives beneath. Indeed, you help us understand the difference between facts and the BS we are fed.
Robert W. Gately, Tempe
How do you break up Joe's cult?: I am an occasional reader of New Times. I do love the articles about Mr. Arpaio, and whenever I learn there is an article about the sheriff, I have to pick up the paper from the newsstand. I am very pleased that NT has the guts to shine light onto what appears to be an almost cult-like following the sheriff has created.
I have heard enough and read enough now that there is no doubt in my mind that Sheriff Joe is not an asset to our community. My only fear is that the reach of his cult has grown too large for anything less than a major scandal to break it up.
Dave Ryan, Phoenix
Glad you saw the light, Bess: Can it be that Sheriff Joe is finally stinking up the place so badly that only the most ignorant will vote for him? Media besides New Times, like Channel 12, are now sniffing the stink and going after his corruption.
Funny thing is, I used to think the sheriff was great, until I started reading New Times regularly.
It seems a new scandal arises everyday, and now this lawsuit! What happened to force Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey to write their grand jury [subpoenas] story was almost surreal. Watching Lacey on TV outside the jail in the darkness on the morning of his release was especially so.
I seldom root for people filing lawsuits, because most of them are frivolous and not worth the paper they're written on, but most of us in the community — those of us with any intelligence — will be rooting for New Times in this one.
When you get the money out of the bastards (and you will!), you should donate it to charity. You should start an investigative journalism chair at ASU or somewhere. You've been the only news outlet in this community, until lately, that stands up for what is right when it comes to the sheriff.
Bess Gibson, Phoenix
Everybody wants a piece: On the lighter side . . . You're going to file a lawsuit against Curly, Larry, and Joe (I can't be the first to have used that) for $15 million on behalf of your readers and the Constitution. I'm a reader, over 60, looking forward to retirement. How much of the $15 million can I count on?
Dean M. Brayton, Gold Canyon
Let's hope there's not another one: What is your purpose in ridiculing and constantly hate-bashing one of the few sheriff's departments in the nation that is trying to do what it is elected and paid to do, a.k.a. enforce the law?
I do not understand the newspapers of this country. Rather than simply reporting the news, they seem to have the sole purpose of promoting their agendas. I'm a hard-working taxpayer who appreciates all the Sheriff Joes in our great country.
Russell Dark, Houston
But there's only one Gandhi: Michael Lacey engages in civil disobedience and then sues when he suffers the consequences. I cannot imagine Gandhi doing that.
The fact that Lacey was arrested for knowingly committing a crime is not the basis of a lawsuit. I respected Lacey for his principles in publishing the original story, but this lawsuit shows he is not a man of convictions but someone who wants more time in the limelight, and money.
Craig Parks, via the Internet
It may be the best the GOP has: This lawsuit is the best news I have heard so far! Go get 'em. We're right behind you. These slugs think they can come in and do as they please and answer to no one. Hmmm. This is a total abuse of power and they have been doing it all along. You can fool some of the people some of the time . . .
Those billboards advertising themselves for their next political position and paid for by the voters ought to be burned down, or captioned, "I am costing you, the public."
Pity the ignorant [fools] who allow TV [coverage on Sheriff Arpaio's latest stunt] to dictate their small minds. And now certain officials are using the churches to run around telling people how to prevent crime? That is not the job of a chief prosecutor.
Who else is watching these three musketeers [Arpaio, Andrew Thomas and Dennis Wilenchik]? Look what happened to Mitt Romney when he teamed up with "an incompetent vaudevillian campaigning for a duplicitous moron," to quote the Tucson Citizen. [Arpaio officially backed Romney for president.] Surely this can't be the best the Republican Party has to offer.
Name withheld by request
Thanks for the heads-up: Thanks for watching out for us. Officials in the Sheriff's Office are showing no remorse for their thug-like actions against Joe Arpaio's enemies, New Times, and its readers. They need to be made to understand that there will be repercussions for their actions. They don't get that at all. Somebody — perhaps the feds or the Attorney General's Office — needs to step in.
How do I know? Because I work in the Sheriff's Office and know that people like [Chief Deputy] David Hendershott and [flack] Paul Chagolla would love nothing better than to exact further actions against New Times. They are just trying to figure out exactly how to go about it.
Here's a warning, New Times staff: Look over your shoulders, because the criminals in this office are waiting to pounce.
Name withheld by request
A sight to behold, indeed: A county sheriff marketing trinkets as his own personal "brand" and using taxpayer money is something beyond belief! By allowing him to build his "brand" at taxpayers' expense, we now have an out-of-control criminal justice system and overrun courts, jails, and prisons.
Who gets the money from the bobbleheads and other trinkets? And who foots the bill? Something is very wrong with this picture.
Hopefully, the lawsuit will find the missing answers. I won't miss a day of the trial. It will be an event to behold. This is the publicity the public needs to see.
Name withheld by request
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