Amazing! Terry Goddard grows a spine, kicks Sheriff Joke to the curb.

Goddard standing tall: If he ever investigates Candy and/or Sheriff Joe, I may go gay for him!

In a startling development that's the AZ state government equivalent of standing up to the schoolyard bully, Attorney General Terry Goddard has told Sheriff Joe to go eff himself, informing asshole Arpaio that "his office will turn over all criminal cases involving the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to other prosecution agencies to avoid an ethical conflict," according to a press release issued by his office yesterday.

The move comes in response to an April news conference by our publicity-mad buffoon of a lawman wherein he announced that he and Maricopa County Attorney Andy "Candy" Thomas were investigating Goddard, putatively to find out if a $1.9 million payment from former State Treasurer David Petersen influenced the fact that Petersen was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor corruption charge by the AG instead of being indicted on more serious counts.

It's a bullshit case. The $1.9 million Petersen reimbursement was required by state law, and Goddard's stated that tougher charges couldn't be proved against Petersen. But Thomas, who's the Sheriff's butt-buddy and has partnered with him on a series of anti-corruption cases, let Joe jump the gun on an announcement of an investigation. Why? Likely because there's nothing to it. Thomas isn't dumb enough to bring an indictment against the state's Attorney General, but he's not going to leave aside a stab at smearing Goddard. Both men want to be Governor in 2010, and you could say that race began as soon as Janet "Manet" Napolitano whipped Len Munsil's fanny last November.

Late April, the Bird reported on the hypocrisy of Thomas and Arpaio investigating anyone in public office, much less the AG, as part of their MACE (Maricopa County Anti-Corruption Enforcement) task force. See, if MACE were legit, the first two public figures it would be forced to investigate would be -- you guessed it -- Candy and Sheriff Joke.

Arpaio and Thomas probably figured Goddard would pussy out and take this one on the chin, knowing that the MCSO's "investigation" wouldn't amount to much. But they figured wrong, and now because of Arpaio's grandstanding, a number of serious corruption cases, like that of former schools supe Sandra Dowling, have been upended and will be transferred to other agencies.

In a letter hand delivered to Nickel Bag Joe that's also posted on the AG's Web site, Goddard gives Arpaio a perfumed ice pick to the kidneys. You can almost see the sly smile on Goddard's face as you read it:

I want to emphasize that my decision in this matter is not negotiable or intended in any way to influence investigative decisions. The timing and scope of the Petersen investigation is entirely within the discretion of the MCSO. When that inquiry is finished, I hope our offices can work together once again.

In your face, Joe! What the AG should do now is open up his own "investigation" of alleged corruption in the offices of Candy and Joe. There's plenty there to rummage around in if the AG wanted, even if he never makes an indictment. Christ, if Goddard ever did something like that bold, I think I might have to go gay for the guy.

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