Joe Arpaio Admits He Made Mistakes in Dealing With Now-Fired Top Deputy; Munnell Memo Report Released Without Conclusions


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said today that he "made mistakes" in dealing with his top aide, former Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott.

In an intentionally brief news conference today, Arpaio read from a prepared statement and took questions from reporters. But he didn't really say much.

Arpaio refused to discuss anything about the SCA scandal. And although he admits he let Hendershott go because some of the allegations of misconduct against him had been sustained in an internal review, Arpaio steadfastly refused to specify a single thing he thought Hendershott had done wrong.

"Read the report," Arpaio told us, in response to our question about that, referring to the 1,022-page report on the so-called Munnell Memo released today.



But we've finished flipping through that report, and it contains no conclusions on the allegations. The conclusions are detailed in three separate reports about the investigation's key figures -- Hendershott, former Deputy Chief Larry Black and Captain Joel Fox -- according to the big report's first couple of pages. A deputy at Arpaio's downtown Phoenix headquarters told us he wasn't sure when those separate reports would be released.

Tomorrow, we'll start going through the 1,022-page report with a fine-toothed comb and let you know all the highlights.

Arpaio also announced that Deputy Chief Jerry Sheridan would now be his chief deputy, and that he was bringing in an outside consultant to help the office with disciplinary issues in order to avoid problems in the future.

Now we're off to Sheriff Paul Babeu's news conference at the State Capitol. We'll let you know what Babeu, who conducted the internal review of Hendershott and the others on behalf of Arpaio, has to say.


UPDATE: Read our coverage of Babeu's statements to the press.

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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.

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