Hendershott Claims Report on Munnell Memo "Littered With Hundred (Sic) of Flaws"

Former Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott, in a gushing, now-public goodbye to his boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claims that a long-awaited report on his misconduct is "littered with hundred (sic) of flaws" and other problems.

The document to which he refers is the 1,022-page report on an internal investigation into allegations by another high-ranking deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Frank Munnell. In September, Arpaio passed the investigation involving members of his command staff to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, and Babeu hired private detective Keith Sobraske to do the work.

Arpaio refuses to release the document, forcing the public to rely on a review by Hendershott, the prime subject of the report. As you can tell from the partial quote in his "resignation" letter, though, Hendershott doesn't appear to be all that good at catching flaws.


"You are the most honorable and hard work person I have ever meet (sic)," Hendershott writes to Arpaio.

Hendershott tells Arpaio, the guy who fired him and deputy chief Larry Black on Friday, that he's the most wonderful sheriff he's ever worked for, that he's enjoyed their "challenges and victories" and that the sheriff's office will continue to be "the world class law enforcement organization that it is."

World-class -- especially that 2009 staff meeting recorded by Munnell, in which discussion of the non-political business of the sheriff's office and jail system is almost nonexistent.

Hendershott adds some ourageous spin to his sycophantic rant:

"I am aware that the recent report prepared by Sheriff Paul Babeu and a citizen investigator has attracted much publicity and caused many people to try and put the MCSO in a negative light," he writes.

This is false, of course. The public hasn't seen the report, so the report can't yet put the MCSO in a negative light. True, the damning allegations against Hendershott, deputy chief Larry Black and Captain Joel Fox that sparked the investigation that led to the report -- those have put the MCSO in a bad light. Those and the recently released report by the state Attorney General's Office on the SCA campaign finance scandal, that is.

Hendershott goes on to say that the report "is unfortunately littered with hundred (sic) of flaws, misstates facts and ignores motives and conflicts. I wholeheartedly do not agree with the sustained findings in the investigation.

"Sheriff Arpaio, you are not responsible for the reports short comings (double sic). I am readily prepared to defend these findings," Hendershott states.

However, he explains, he's going to move on.

Yet it seems likely he'll have more chances to defend against the findings. Certainly, if he's indicted by the feds, who have an open investigation into alleged financial and other misconduct by Hendershott, he'll be defending himself. He's also the launcher and target of lawsuits that, if they aren't settled, will force him to defend against these and myriad other allegations.

We'd like to see even a few examples of the "hundred of flaws" of which he speaks and judge for ourselves if they're really flaws.

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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.
Contact: Ray Stern