Captain Joel Fox Still Claims He Wasn't "Promoted" When He was Made SWAT Commander; We Clarify Some Minor Errors

We messed up and we admit it.

Our blog post yesterday about the Yellow Sheet Report contained a factual error -- it wasn't Phil Riske who broke the story last year about the connection between Captain Joel Fox and the SCA. It was Jim Small.

Fox pointed out the error last night in a comment on the post. He also makes other claims about errors in another New Times blog post that we quoted in the post about the Yellow Sheet. Fox wrote:

You know that I didn't file Arpaio's nominating petitions, you know that my transfer to SWAT was not a promotion (I was actually promoted 6 months before the election) and you also know that I didn't lead the raid on the Mesa mobile home when Pearce and Argetsinger were shot.

We submit to you that two of these errors are quite minor, albeit deserving of clarification. But a third claimed error by Fox about his promotion resembles another lie on his part.

It's true that Fox did not "file the nominating petitions" for Arpaio -- that makes it sound like he was the only one who did so.

However, Fox was among was several sheriff's office employees who collected and filed nominating petitions for the sheriff. Fox even admitted as much in a comment on one of our posts in June. Clearly, he wants to spin us away from the idea that he received any special favors for his work helping to get Sheriff Joe Arpaio re-elected in 2004.

It also may be true that Fox did not "lead" the raid on the Mesa mobile home, during which two deputies were shot. Dave Trombi, now a deputy chief, was reportedly the immediate leader of the SWAT team raid that night.

However, a 2005 East Valley Tribune article (a must-read for Fox followers) states that Fox was one of two commanders of the SWAT team, along with Trombi, the night the raid went down.

Maybe Fox will explain what he was doing that night, if he wasn't leading.

As far as the promotion is concerned, Fox claims being named one of two SWAT commanders wasn't a promotion. Even if he received no extra pay for the assignment -- (we recently submitted a records request for his personnel file and salary info) -- it is ridiculous to claim that wasn't a promotion.

According to the dictionary, a "promotion" is a "advancement in rank or responsibility." Fox was promoted when his rank was advanced to captain, and he was promoted again when he was handed the responsibility of SWAT commander.

We regret any errors and strive for accuracy. And we'll continue to try our best to identify a spin-job when someone calls it a mistake.

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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.