They say that the cover-up can often be worse than the crime, and this appears true in the case of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the SCA scandal.
In yet another sign that someone working for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, or maybe the big guy himself, wants to erase fingerprints from the dirty campaign-finance scheme, a website mentioned in e-mails between Deputy Chief Larry Black and Captain Joel Fox has been unlinked from Arpaio's campaign site.
Until a few days ago, electsheriffjoe.com brought up the campaign site. Now, mysteriously, the domain name appears dead.
But at least one of Black's domain names, www.sheriffjoegottogo.com, still links to the campaign site -- click on it now to verify, before the Internet gremlin gets this one, too.
These sites, along with an e-mail from Fox to Black about one of them, apparently tie Black to the campaign, literally. Domain name records show Black owns the "sheriffjoegottogo.com" site; info about other domains that Black apparently bought have been shielded from public view.
The connection between the "electionsheriffjoe" domain name and the site became a key piece of evidence in the state Attorney General office's report into alleged crimes by Arpaio's top people, showing clearly that Fox and Black worked on election-related stuff.
Fox previously had claimed, (for example, in this 2009 letter to elections officials) that because his group, the SCA, had not engaged in any political activity and wasn't a political action committee subject to any campaign finance laws.
But in an August 2007 e-mail discovered after a search of Fox's home two years ago, Black sent Fox a list of domain names -- including electsheriffjoe.com -- and Fox replies, "I'm assuming the reelection site would be on electionsheriffjoe ... or do you want it on one of the others?"
The site ended up linked to Sheriff Arpaio's campaign site, sheriffjoe.org -- or was it that sheriffjoe.org, created four months after electsheriffjoe.com, (see screenshots below), was the real campaign site in 2008? Heck if we know.
However, we can tell you that since we published the SCA report online on March 24 and began working on articles about the scandal, something changed on the electsheriffjoe.com site. The site no longer brings up the campaign site. Domain name info shows that the site was updated on March 28.
As New Times readers know, the revealed e-mails between Black and Fox contained more than evidence for criminal investigators. Some e-mails suggested a relationship between the men that went beyond mere friendship.
Read the full story of the SCA scandal and how Black and Fox's love for each played a role in it, all based on the AG's report, in this week's feature article "Love Connection."
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