Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio ought to tell his deputies not to play with Steve Ellman. The Valley developer and former Phoenix Coyotes owner has clearly been a bad influence on the sheriff's men.
* Ellman is a major figure in the SCA campaign finance scandal, and is Arpaio's friend. He flew the sheriff's top men to Alaska in 2007, where they met with wealthy men who would contribute big money to the slush fund created by former Arpaio aides Larry Black and Dave Hendershott. Ellman also worked with Black and Hendershott to collect large contributions that were later illegally donated to the state Republican Party and used to pay for a smear ad that targeted Arpaio's opponent in the 2008 election.
* Hendershott allegedly offered to trade law enforcement services to Ellman on property the developer was trying to acquire in return for a discount on lease space for a restaurant Hendershott's wife wanted to open.
* Larry Black, the former deputy chief fired recently by Arpaio along with Hendershott, once offered a sheriff's lieutenant season tickets to Coyotes games in return for dropping assault charges against a Coyotes player. Black reportedly told the lieutenant, Rich Burden, that he knew someone who could get the tickets. Black was a friend of Ellman's, the Munnell Memo investigative report states.
When Burden sued the Coyotes player, Brad May, Black and another top Arpaio aide, Brian Sands, stressed over what the lawsuit might mean to their friendship with Ellman.
"Ellman's a friend of mine as much as he's a friend of Larry Black," Sands told investigators.
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Sands survived Arpaio's small purge of top aides and is now the chief of patrol.