ABC Nightline Report is Bogus, Claims Sheriff and Spokeswoman; Guess Who the Real Liars Are?

New Times is a lying, "insidious" publication that ABC News Nightline program should never have used in researching its recent report on Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's spokeswoman states in a new video made by the agency. (Scroll down for link to video).

After that bold and unsubstantiated insult, both the spokeswoman and Sheriff Joe Arpaio proceed to lie in the video about a 2004 sting operation involving prostitutes and posse members. Spokeswoman Lisa Allen and Arpaio state unequivocally that none of their people had sex with a hooker during the operation.

One of Arpaio's commanders also says employees of the previous county attorney, Rick Romley, knew exactly what the sheriff's men were doing during the sting and "supported it completely." Deputy Chief Don Schneidmiller, (the half-assed propaganda video misspells his name), says the previous "regime" wanted to embarrass Arpaio by dismissing the prostitution cases.

But as you'll see in the following passage from a New Times article, (which insidiously quotes from a police report), the county attorney's employee who says the Sheriff's Office wrecked the case is none other than Barnett Lotstein -- who used to work for Romley, but now serves the current regime. Lotstein is a senior aide to County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Here's an example of how posse member Glenn Coffman handled an encounter with an alleged prostitute:

Last October 29, Coffman drove to a massage parlor on West Thomas Road and agreed to pay $40 for a 30-minute rubdown. A woman in her early 50s told Coffman to take off his clothes. Coffman agreed. He then lay face first on a massage table and the woman began rubbing his back.

"She started to chew on my left ear, put her tongue in my ear, and whispered words to the effect for me not to be surprised if she ran her tongue over my balls and my shaft until I came all over her," Coffman states in his signed police report.

"She told me that for an additional $100, she did the massage in the nude and would give me oral sex. I told her I would get the $100. I got off the table, took the $100 out of my trouser pocket, and gave it to her."

At this point, a crime had been committed, and Coffman should have made the bust.

But this sheriff's posse member was far from done.

"She then removed the blue dress and bikini panties. She took my hand and walked me back to the table. She told me to lie down on my stomach. Once I was on the table, she began to massage me with her bare breasts. After using her breasts on most of my back and buttocks, she told me to turn over.

"She got on the table straddling me and took my penis and rubbed her vagina area with no penetration. I told her to slow down.

"She got off the table, came around to my right side, and massaged my penis with her breasts. I again told her to slow down.

"She hesitated a few minutes, and then took my penis in her hand and kissed it about 3-4 times."

Coffman's sexual encounter with the hooker ended moments later when an undercover officer knocked on the door.

Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney, says Coffman's nudity had already wrecked the case. And his willingness to engage in extended sexual contact only made things worse.

"We believe that juries would not have convicted these people because of the police conduct," Lotstein says.

Other undercover deputies and posse members, Lotstein says, also engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct and nudity in the course of the investigation.

The Sheriff's Office is desperately trying to save face on this latest fiasco, claiming that the County Attorney's Office approved the techniques used in the operation and is now trying to politically embarrass Arpaio with the primary election two months away.

Sheriff's PIO MacPherson's spin is that the operation was properly conducted and that undercover deputies and posse members did nothing wrong in engaging in sexual activities with alleged hookers.

Oh, that "MacPherson" New Times quotes -- the Sheriff's PIO who acknowledges sexual activity occurred in the 2004 story -- that's Lisa Allen's old last name. That's right -- she admitted then what she's lying about now.

Don't believe this insidious publication? Here's another passage, this one from an article in the soon-to-be-history East Valley Tribune:

Records detail instances in which deputies or posse members fondled the breasts and genitals of the women and allowed the women to touch their penises with their mouths and hands -- all in the hopes of convincing the women they were not law enforcement officers.

Officers going nude is unacceptable, said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney. Participating in sex acts is that much worse.

"This behavior is not appropriate. We don't approve of it and we never authorized it. I want to make that clear," Lotstein said. "I have never read a report where a law enforcement or a representative went as far as these people did."

The Sheriff's Office has released blatantly false propaganda before.

Earlier this month, the agency -- with the help of the County Attorney's Office -- produced a false report about Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe. After New Times exposed much of the report as untrue, the Sheriff's Office continues to display it unaltered on its taxpayer-funded Web site. Thomas' office later claimed it didn't have to release to New Times any records related to the anti-Donahoe project, saying its efforts can remain secret under attorney-client privilege rules.

Now that's insidious!

Link to MCSO video:

The above link went dead for some reason -- the new one is below. Thanks, "Stacy."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.