Detention Officer may Remain in Jail Till After Christmas, Lawyer Says; No Evidence Officer is in Cell After Contempt Order

The county lawyer for a detention officer thrown in jail for contempt of court refused to say on Thursday whether the officer was being held in a cell.

Adam Stoddard (left) was officially booked into jail this morning following two nights he spent in jail "voluntarily," according to his lawyer, Deputy County Attorney Tom Liddy. Because of security precautions, Liddy says, authorities are not releasing "his conditions of confinement." Liddy says Stoddard is in jail and is in compliance with the contempt order, which was issued after Stoddard was caught taking papers from a defense attorney's file during a sentencing hearing.

Whether Stoddard's actually in a jail cell, Liddy won't say.

(Friday update note: We had also asked Liddy whether he considers the staff of the jail to be "in jail." He said yes).

The order by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe to jail Stoddard states that the officer should self-surrender to the jail. It says nothing about a cell. When we asked Liddy whether failing to put Stoddard in a cell would violate the spirit of Donahoe's order, Liddy -- a former radio host -- replied, "I don't do spirits."

However, Liddy did admit that Stoddard was getting some special treatment: He was not forced to put on pink underwear or use pink towels like Arpaio typically foists on inmates. Liddy says he bought Stoddard personal items to use and anyone who has a problem with that can call him.

Judge Donahoe reportedly made statements indicating Stoddard would be held until at least after Christmas, Liddy says. More information about that is expected to be released later, he says.


"This is worse than Scrooge," Liddy says. "There's nothing at all that would enable Judge Donahoe to end this gracefully."

As we reported earlier today, the Maricopa County Association of Detention Officers plans to hold a candlelight vigil each night that Stoddard's in jail.

The jailing -- if he's in jail at all, that is -- of Stoddard sparked a protest by detention officers and deputies yesterday outside the courthouse at 201 West Jefferson Street. Also yesterday, about 20 detention officers called in sick, causing 143 criminal cases to be delayed.

Arpaio's chief deputy, Dave Hendershott, tells New Times he doesn't believe anyone called in sick to protest Stoddard's situation. However, he added that he'd be concerned if someone who called in sick yesterday also showed up at the afternoon protest.

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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.