Meet Joe Arpaio's new best buddy, Jerry Simms

Meet Joe Arpaio's new best buddy, Jerry Simms

Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci in Casino. Where's Mr. Glick (um) Green?

By Sarah Fenske

Bet you never thought you'd read this coming from a New Times reporter, but today's Republic had a great scoop. Reporter Yvonne Wingett revealed that Sheriff Joe Arpaio began investigating the Arizona Department of Racing at the prodding of a campaign contributor.

But what the Republic didn't tell you is just how shady that campaign contributor is.

Jeremy "Jerry" Simms, whose family owns Turf Paradise, is indeed a big Arpaio donor; public records show he's also given money to County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

But Sims is exactly the kind of guy that law enforcement shouldn't be getting in bed with.

As we reported a few years ago, back in California, Simms admitted to bribing a coastal commissioner and "lent large sums of money" to a "mob frontman" named Alan Glick. (Glick, it should be noted, was the inspiration for Mr. Green, played by Kevin Pollak, in Martin Scorsese's Casino.) And, in Arizona, Simms appears to have spent some time cultivating Burton Kruglick, the ancient Republican who chaired the state's Racing Commission. You have to wonder what that was all about.

The director of the Department of Racing, Geoffrey Gonsher, has a reputation as a straight arrow. It was his staff that put together the report critical of Kruglick's relationship with the racetrack owner.

Any legitimate law enforcement agency would take one look at Simms' history and go running (fast!) in the other direction. But is anyone surprised that Sheriff Arpaio decided instead to strip off his clothes and jump eagerly into Simms' bed?

We're speaking metaphorically, of course. But isn't that bad enough?

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