Brian Sands, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's book-writing retired executive chief, predicts his ex-boss won't be reelected in 2016.
"I think he's done," says Sands, who retired last year as one of Arpaio's closest aides after a 30-year career at the agency.
The voting public no longer trusts him and won't fall for more public-relations stunts like Arpaio's "stupid-ass lawsuit" against President Obama's executive actions on immigration, he says.
Sands is making his opinions about Arpaio's political future known at the same time he's re-released his self-published book, Arpaio De Facto Lawman.
Sands also points out that Arpaio has won by a shrinking percentage of votes over time, and only 50.7 percent of county voters supported him in 2012. Without someone like Mike Stauffer playing the role of a third-candidate spoiler in 2016, a competitor might have a chance, he says.
It's not that Sands has embarked on a publicity campaign for his book: We called him this week to talk about the second edition he put out, and asked him what he thought of Arpaio's ongoing problems. In his sixth term in office, the 82-year-old sheriff has waged a tough fight with federal authorities including Arizona U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow, who ruled last year that Arpaio had led a program of systematic discrimination against county Hispanics. With federal monitor Robert Warshaw inside the agency, the public is learning more about deceased human-smuggling unit deputy Ramon "Charley" Armendariz, whose video-recorded traffic stops have been described as more akin to armed robbery. Evidence of potential corruption revealed after Armendariz committed suicide in May is still being examined.
Both Sands, who served as Arpaio's enforcement chief, and Armendariz were among the witnesses who testified in the racial-profiling case hearings. But don't look for any acknowledgment of corruption by Sands -- he's previously told us he knows nothing about the allegations of shakedowns concerning Armendariz or any other deputy. Nor does Sands' book contain any interesting revelations about the racial-profiling that occurred on his watch. It does, however, criticize his former buddy, Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, for calling Snow's ruling "ludicrous" during a recorded training session with deputies. As our October 8 feature article covered, that's the tenor of Sands' book -- long on gossip and criticism, and well short of a good explanation for why Sands went along with the antics by Arpaio that Sands details.
This is Sands' second edition already of the electronic and printed book: He was forced to put out a better-edited version after even his supporters complained of numerous complaints of typos and bad grammar. His critics, including Arpaio's spokeswoman, Lisa Allen, complained that Sands never stood up and tried to stop Arpaio policies his book trashes. Sheridan publicly threatened to sue Sands over the book's depiction of his supposedly bigoted tendencies.
We'll warn you that if you buy Sands' book, you'll probably be paying for the research of his next planned project -- a travel book. (He claims he'll do a sequel to his MCSO book someday, too.) We continue to be disappointed by Sands' apparent lack of full candor, which admittedly could be motivated by a desire to stay out of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution.
But after last reporting that Sands was no longer selling the book due to its errors, we thought we'd mention it to you if and when he put it back out there.
Possible last-minute stocking stuffer for Sheriff Arpaio?
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.