Jarrett Maupin, a former candidate for Phoenix mayor, was arrested and booked into jail today by deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Details are scant at this point, but a news release (reprinted below) put out by the Sheriff's Office says Maupin is accused of lying to sheriff's investigators when he told them that his former political opponent, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, had broken the law in some way.
Based on this brief description of the allegation, it seems safe to say that even if Maupin is guilty of what he's accused of, his arrest looks like another example of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's heavy handed use of power.
Law officers have the discretion to just cite someone accused of a misdemeanor rather than arrest the person. Because Maupin is accused of lying to deputies, it's not hard to imagine somebody at the MCSO took his case personally, as was apparently the case in the arrests of American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Dan Pochoda and New Times executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Maupin is a well-known activist who's respected in his community -- deputies could have treated him like Chandler police treated state Senator John Huppenthal, who was not arrested despite being accused by police of two misdemeanors.
Whether the charge is warranted against Maupin, a community activist and member of the Phoenix Union High School District governing board, we'll have to wait and see.
The news release from the sheriff's office follows:
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Former Candidate for Phoenix Mayor Arrested
Jarrett Maupin, (DOB 6-5-87) who ran for Mayor of Phoenix against Phil Gordon in 2007, was arrested this afternoon by the Sheriff’s Office for one count of false reporting to a law enforcement agency, a misdemeanor.
The arrest stems from a claim Maupin, who also served on the Phoenix Union High School Board for four years, made to the Sheriff’s Office alleging his opponent may have broken the law.
An investigation shows Maupin lied about the allegation and having proof of it in his possession. He was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail this afternoon.