Arpaio to Donate $2,600 to "Charities" as Sheriff's Office Employees Forced on Furloughs

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced today he'll take $2,613 out of his $97,000 yearly salary and donate it to "charities" while his employees are forced to take unpaid, two-week furloughs.

In typical self-aggrandizing fashion for the sheriff, the beneficiaries of Arpaio's largess will be charities his agency set up. He's giving $871 each to the sheriff's Youth Assistance Foundation for disadvantaged kids and the sheriff's anti-animal cruelty fund.

And he's kicking $872 over to his anti-illegal immigration donation fund. Please don't tell us he's going to get a tax write-off for that one.

Arpaio says in a news release that he'd like to see County Manager David Smith and Deputy County Manager Sandi Wilson made similar donations with part of their salaries. He thinks they should pay more, because they make more than he does.

Naturally, Arpaio isn't asking his top commanders, like Dave Hendershott, to take extra furloughs. But maybe he should: Hendershott and other MCSO commanders (you know, the guys from the SCA), collect both retirement benefits and a salary in a scheme known as double-dipping. We understand that Arpaio's also a double-dipper, of sorts, since he gets a pension from his former employer, the DEA.

Speaking of the SCA, here are the sheriff's top commanders who were members of the SCA and the amounts they gave to the shadowy group:

Dave Hendershott, Chief Deputy -- $2,650

Jesse N. Locksa -- $300

Larry Black, Director -- $950

Frank Munnell, Deputy Chief, Patrol -- $2,400

Joel Fox, Captain -- $2,050

Scott Freeman, Deputy Chief, Special Investigations -- $1,800

Brian Sands -- $2,000

Obviously, if these guys can afford to donate this much money to a fund they supposedly had no control over, a furlough won't hurt them.

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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.