The lawyer's tale of being beaten by a merciless deputy who then conveniently left out details of the attack in court paperwork, unfortunately, isn't terribly hard to believe in the 20th year of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's reign.
One point that runs in Kloberdanz's favor, as far as we're concerned, is that Kloberdanz claims Deputy Steven Carpenter helped hold him down as Pellino beat him. As we've previously reported, Carpenter, in September 2012 -- about three months after the Kloberdanz incident -- went on a road trip to North Dakota to help another deputy ambush and attack a man.
Kloberdanz's lawsuit describes how Deputy Pellino seemed to have no reason for the alleged beating -- other than the fact that Kloberdanz is a lawyer.
However, Pellino saw the event differently than Kloberdanz: He arrested Kloberdanz for hindering an investigation, and Kloberdanz faces a bench trial at 3 p.m. tomorrow on the charge before Desert Ridge Justice Court Judge Clancy Jayne.
The State Bar is also probing the lawyer's actions stemming from the incident, Kloberdanz admits, meaning the debacle could result in sanctions against his law license.
According to Kloberdanz, though, "every word" of his lawsuit is true. We talked to the lawyer and read his lawsuit today after being told of a write-up about it in Courthouse News. You don't need to be pay $35 for CN's copy of the lawsuit -- you can read it for free at the end of this post.
It all began on the night of June 15, 2012, when an employee at Kloberdanz's law firm, Valarie Lingenfelder, hit a motorcyclist with her vehicle. She called police and her boss, and her boss arrived on scene first. He spoke briefly with Robert Briggs, the motorcyclist, then turned his attention to Lingenfelder.
A sheriff's posse member, Robert Burghart, showed up, followed by Deputy Pellino. "Within seconds," according to the lawsuit, Pellino determined Lingenfelder was impaired and threw a pair of cuffs on her. He looked at Kloberdanz, without knowing who he was, and told him that "she should not have been driving."
Kloberdanz says he asked the deputy if he could try to calm down Lingenfelder, who was standing alone and "upset."
Pellino asked the woman whether she knew Kloberdanz. She said he was a friend -- and also her lawyer. With that, Kloberdanz says, Pellino strode over to him and shoved him so hard in the chest that he fell to the ground.
When Kloberdanz rose to his feet, Pellino said, "I don't need you guys telling me how to do my job," and tackled him, court records state.
Pellino cuffed the lawyer's hands behind his back while he was face down on the street and screamed "anti-lawyer sentiments," Kloberdanz claims.