Dan Saban: SCA Donors had "Vested Interest" in Election Outcome; Hendershott Nixed Payroll Deductions for Union Dues

The revelation today that top deputies at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were behind the shadowy SCA shows Sheriff Arpaio and his minions "aren't willing to come out and have a fair fight," says Arpaio's longtime political opponent, Dan Saban.

Saban (pictured) ran against Arpaio in 2008 as a Democrat and was slammed with one of the most vile attack ads ever aired in Arizona (see ad on YouTube below). The ad was produced and paid for by the Republican Party, apparently with the money raised by the SCA.

As far as Saban is concerned -- and we're in no position to argue with him -- the money appears to have been funneled to the smear ad directly from the deputies and others with connections to Arpaio.

"They are willing to bend the rules, if not break them," Saban says. "This clearly shows they are cowards."

Saban notes that he obviously wouldn't have kept people like Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott if he'd been elected. The top deputies "had a vested interest in the outcome of this election. Their positions were going to be threatened."

Another interesting factoid:

As we mentioned earlier, the Sheriff's Command Association contributions from Hendershott and the deputies came from payroll deductions.

Ironically, says Saban, Hendershott was behind a 2004 Board of Supervisors action that banned a deputies union from collecting dues through payroll deductions.

Arpaio, Saban assumes, knew about the SCA "from the get-go -- of course he did."

Saban says the SCA donations and subsequent attack ad were abuses of authority of the type that caused him to run against Arpaio in the first place.

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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.