| Arpaio |

Joe Arpaio Either Forgot He Was Asked to Attend Paul Babeu's "Fast and Furious" Press Conference, Or Somebody's Lying

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

At 11 a.m. today, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, and nine other Arizona sheriffs, will hold a press conference at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza at the State Capitol to discuss the federal government's bungled gun trafficking sting, "Operation Fast and Furious."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not be in attendance.

At a 2:30 p.m. press conference yesterday, after telling reporters he was too busy arresting people to discuss "Fast and Furious," we asked the sheriff if he would be at Babeu's presser. Arpaio told New Times he hadn't yet heard of Babeu's press conference.

"How does the New Times know about this [press conference] before we do," the 79-year-old sheriff then asked his PR folks.

We thought it would be a bit odd for Babeu to hold a press conference -- in Maricopa County -- with several Arizona sheriffs without even extending an invitation to America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff." So we hit up Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Gaffney.

We asked Gaffney why Arpaio wasn't invited to Babeu's sheriff-filled press conference. According to Gaffney, Arpaio was invited.

"I was there when Sheriff Babeu talked with him about it today. Sheriff Arpaio couldn't attend due to a conflict," Gaffney says.

We explained that "[Arpaio] literally just told me he hadn't heard a thing about it. He was shocked. He even asked [his PR flack] Lisa Allen why 'New Times knows about this but I don't.'"

Gaffney responded with "[Arpaio and Babeau] spoke by phone at around noon. I was sitting by Sheriff Babeu and heard the conversation."

The conversation, as Gaffney points out, happened around noon. Our conversation with the sheriff was about three hours later. In those three hours, Arpaio -- again, at 79 -- either forgot he was invited to Babeu's press conference, or he lied when we asked him if he was going.

Senile, or a liar -- what's it gonna be?

Either way, the majority of Arizona's sheriffs will be talking about 1,500 guns that ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels thanks to the federal government. Meanwhile, Arpaio will be chasing Hispanic cleaning ladies through southwest Phoenix.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.