Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio, DeeDee Blase, and Her Shrill Attacks on Paul Penzone

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For instance, in one post, she makes hay out of the fact that in 2005, Arpaio sent a letter to former Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, thanking Penzone, who was then the head of the PPD's Silent Witness program, as well as PPD's records and dispatch, for assisting in the apprehension of a suspect and the safe return of two kidnapped children.

Arpaio also praises "an extraordinary partnership" among a number of law enforcement agencies and other organizations that assisted in the effort, but details of the several agencies involved and specifics of the case they were working on have been deleted by Blase.

A four paragraph letter becomes a two paragraph letter, which seems to refer mainly to Penzone. Blase then offers it as proof of "why Penzone should be doubted," insinuating some sort of collusion between Arpaio and Penzone.

The full letter is hardly evidence of anything more than Arpaio thanking another agency head for help in an important case. Pretty standard stuff between law enforcement honchos. You can look at the letter up close, here.

In another shrill post, Blase rages about a minor car accident Penzone had in 1994, calling it his "history of being wreckless [sic] in law enforcement with tax payer dollars and government property."

In her title, and on Facebook, she asks if the incident demonstrates "a pattern of road rage."

But as you can see from reading the letter, here, it's all about the fact that Penzone "struck a vertical decorative railroad tie which could not be seen from inside his car." This causes an estimated $300 in damage to the police vehicle.

Penzone's supervisor recommends a written reprimand and a remedial driving course for Penzone, noting that the last at-fault accident for Penzone had been 3 years ago. It's also worth mentioning that Penzone had been a cop for about five or six years at the time.

"Road rage"? Against what, a "decorative railroad tie"? Blase's accusations are ridiculous in the extreme.

Then there's Blase's skewed analysis of an incident I was the first to write about, one she would know nothing of if she had not read my July column about a 2003 incident involving Penzone and his ex-wife.

After I published the article, Blase went on the warpath against Penzone, carefully using the phrase "alleged wife beater" to paint Penzone in the worst possible light.

(Refer to my original column for the details on the altercation between Penzone and his wife.)

For instance, take this header to a recent diatribe of hers:

"PAUL PENZONE PUBLIC RECORDS ARE IN: His wife did file a protection order against him and he was the defendant."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons